If you read this blog you know I have been struggling with my long runs. No, they have not been bad, yes, one of them has been great, but overall they did not feel as smooth as my speed and tempo runs. I know I am built for shorter distances, both mentally and physically. I can put up with a lot of hurt for a short amount of time. I get intimidated by long distances. I have strong muscles which are now popping out from my legs when I walk or run. I do not have the zero body fat like fast marathoners (I am not complaining here, I like what I have!).
Yet I am one who perseveres. I do believe that hard work makes runs easier, even the long runs. And today I've got a bit of a reward.
The run went like this: 9 miles steady @ MP, 1 mile easy, 4 miles with 5X3 min @ MP-10/25secs, 3 min easy; 3 miles @ MP +5secs. It was very humid this morning, and the initial plan was not to run this fast. But I felt good, and, even though I had a challenging week of training (some 800ms on Monday, a 12 miler with 6 miles @ MP-10 on Wednesday, 1 tempo with 3X10min @ HM/10K pace on Thursday, and an easy runs with hill sprints on Tuesday), the overall mileage has been lower, so I trusted that my body could handle the run. Was it easy? No. Was is hard at the end? Yes. Did it help that I had a small window of time to get the run done? Yes. But the point is, I ran hard long. My body does not feel trashed right now. I convinced myself that I could handle the run, when, at mile 2 of the first 9 miles, I remembered how I hit the wall several weeks ago when I started the run too fast, at a pace that was much slower than today's.
So I am feeling cautiously optimistic about my marathon. There is still work to be done, but I see things coming together even for this unnatural wanna be marathoner!
Building a clock
8 months ago