A run to remember

Saturday’s run was honestly one of the best I’ve ever had. Not because of the distance (I only managed 18.5 of the 19 I had planned), or the speed (sloooow), but of the overall way my body and mind meshed. It was a long day, with an early start, but somehow things went much better than I had expected.

I woke up at 4:30am to a miserable Charley horse, clutching my leg in pain and getting angry with myself for being dehydrated. I immediately chugged some water and returned to bed until 6am. In earlier days I would have taken this incident as a bad omen for my run and come up with an excuse to sleep through my run. But not Saturday. At 6am I got out of bed, consumed a lot more water and some challah. By 6:45 I had suited up and was ready to get out for this long run.

And wow was it chilly! Since I live in the foggier area, it was kind enough to be windy and cold. Great, right? So I started on the 3.5 mile journey to the office where a running club was meeting. A mile in I found myself going in the wrong direction and had to take out my phone for directions. Just as the group was preparing to head out at 7:45, I shuffled up. I managed to run 4.25 miles to the start (yay for getting lost!).

We separated into groups and went off. This running club incorporates intervals into the workout and my group does 6 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking. As we began to run towards the hills I felt okay, my mind knew I could do it. Even with the hills I was able to keep up without falling behind. Yes, there was one hill that threatened my being, but I was able to complete it without discouraging myself from continuing on after.

Last week when I ran with this group, I deeply considered dropping out at 8 miles instead of 12. I didn’t, but as the 10 mile mark came up I had to drag myself off to continue. This week I knew that I was doing 14 with the group and that I had no option otherwise. Each time some people fell off to do a shorter distance I waved at them instead of trying to sneak into their group.

It never crossed my mind that stopping was an option. Slowing down was something I considered, but the two other individuals pushing me to 14 miles didn’t seem interested in changing pace so I moved ahead with them. And as we returned to the starting location I was overjoyed to know that I had done it. I conquered the hills, finished (most of) the miles, and was still in a very happy place.

I don’t know how I did it, mentally pushing myself further than I ever have, but I can’t complain. My only hope is that I learn how to harness this power so my future runs can be just as successful. (San Francisco Marathon in less than three weeks, eep!)

More about my dilemma with intervals during the marathon later this week…

How do you mentally fuel yourself during runs? What is your mantra to keep moving?

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on July 9, 2012, in Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. First time reading your blog and I have to say it’s very cute. I love reading blog posts like this one because, let’s face it, we’ve all had those runs that way more mental than physical. I do have to admit that I laughed a bit at the ‘wow it was chilly’ part. Living in the South I won’t be able to say that until December(ish). Good luck with the SFM!!

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