Yesterday was Long Run Sunday. The goal = 7 Miles. The result = 4 Miles.
I did exactly what I knew I would if I didn’t do an out and back. I took the easy road. In a previous post I wrote about how I liked out and back runs because they forced me to do all the miles. I couldn’t get to the halfway point and not run back. I mean, I need to get home. So on Sunday my goal was 3.5 miles out and 3.5 back, for 7 total. The problem was beyond 2.75 miles was an area that was not very runner friendly. No sidewalks, cars buzzing by, etc. etc. As much as I want to get my miles in, I also want to live to see my next race.
So instead I turned down a street that gave me another way to head back home. The problem was, as soon as I got to 3.5 miles I was only a little more than a half mile from home. So I could run the 3.5 I just ran or the .6 to get home. With the temperature being in the 40’s and the wind picking up the decision was made. And I ended my long run at a little over 4 miles. 3 Miles short of what it was supposed to be.
I won’t beat myself up for it because ultimately any run is better than no run at all. But at the same time it’s never good when you fall short of your distance.
A few things popped into my mind after the run. The first was about the run itself. I noticed myself walking more than usual. Maybe I can chalk this up to the fact that this was only my 4th outdoor run of the year. So I am still adjusting to not being on a treadmill. But when I first started running I was always amazed at how long I could run for. With little to no running experience I could go out for 7, 8 even 10 mile runs and not walk a step. I wasn’t setting the world on fire with speed records, but at the same time I rarely would walk. And I had no running experience at all. Now here I am with almost 2 years running experience under my belt and I walk a good amount of a 4 mile run.
Is it because my legs have more miles on them? They are more worn down? I was naive before and didn’t know any better? Or maybe this is just my 4th outdoor run of the year and I have to get reacclimated to the outdoors. Whatever the reason I wasn’t happy with it. However, I also realize I have to have these type of runs in order to look back once I cross the Chicago Marathon finish line to remember the struggle to what got me there. So it is just a part of the process. “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” –Frederick Douglass
The other thing I noticed is I need a new running route. My out and back route worked for me when I was getting in up to 6 miles. But I am now getting to the point where my route is being run short. So to combat this I will need to find a new route. I recently moved to the area I live, so I do not know the running trails very well. When I first started running I would explore the area and find the perfect out and back route that fit my running goals. So I need to take it back to basics and get a good out and back route.
All of this is just a part of the 7 month journey I have in front of me that will lead me to crossing over the Chicago Marathon finish line. Can’t wait!