The Realities of a 9 mile Run
I know, I know, nine miles does not sound as hearty as saying I had a 10 mile run today (which in actuality, I nearly did. 9.75), but its nonetheless significant. I’ve been dreading this run all week and even more since about 2 days ago. I kept putting it off today and even considered running it tomorrow. I had a meeting at church which lasted longer than I thought, and by the time I got out, I could not have finished my run outside before dark. This gave me a perfect reason to put it off. But as most experienced runners probably know by now (I don’t quite fit in this category yet), no one wants to have that long run hanging over your head all weekend. So what did I do, I sucked it up and dragged my butt to the gym, where I could not use the waning daylight as an excuse.
Yes, I ran over 9 miles on a treadmill… and I nailed it. At this point I’m running for over an hour and had to bring water and some energy gummies to refuel about 3/4 of the way through. I actually felt like a real runner having to do this. There is something about your confidence level that changes as you near the 10 mile mark. I felt strong on the run, I felt like I could totally finish this half with no problems. Which is important because I was beginning to get nervous. For about 2 weeks I have been dragging butt to the gym and out to the trail for my runs. I was rapidly losing motivation to actually complete this race. My body seemed to be angry at me for putting it through this (particularly my knees).
But alas! Today I think I hit a point in my training where it all started to come together. Everything seemed to work together to get me to the finish. My breathing was rhythmic, my legs moved easily to its beat. My arms knew the perfect times to rest on my hips, and when to release and my mind was clear. It was almost euphoric or maybe that was the runners high. There is a lovely thing that happens in your head when you begin to run long distances, the answers for some of those problems we encounter in everyday life, suddenly become very clear. Its a beautiful gift, that running has given me. Something I’ve felt before, but with the passing of this long run today, I was reminded of. Either way, all that suffering through training finally brought me a breakthrough and to top the icing with a cherry, I averaged under a 9:50 mile. It was a beautiful thing. As easily as I was about to walk away before, now I have to admit, this running lifestyle might be for me after all.