Week nine, day four
So, something strange happened yesterday. And I don’t mean Texas beating OU. I had fourteen miles to run in the continuing heat and humidity, farther than I’ve ever run before. And…it was no big deal.
I’ve had a lot going on lately, so I didn’t really have time to get nervous about running farther than I’ve ever run before. Plus, a half-marathon is 13.1 miles, and due to the fact that I can’t break the habit of weaving through people like I’m driving on the Long Island Expressway, my distances at the end of my two halves have been 13.7 and 13.5. So I had in my head that it wasn’t really any farther once you round off those races.
Yesterday was the first time this season that I’ve been running just as the sun just started to rise. The sunrise always makes me think of Angi and how proud she’d be of my progress. Also, the little group I run with has really started to become great friends and I enjoy spending time with them (you learn a lot about each other slogging through a three hour run). Yeah, I was tired and sweaty but I actually really enjoyed myself.
I didn’t appreciate the mental part of distance running when I started. Your thoughts can lead you to some great (and terrible) places when you’re out there for a long time. It doesn’t always feel like something I can consciously control, but at the same time, I think training strengthens your mind just like it does your heart, lungs and legs. I wish I could say I won’t freak out any more this season, but I doubt that’s true. Still, like Mack Brown, I’ll take the wins when they come and look forward to the next challenge.