Boston is just 5 weeks away and I have reached the moment of a 1000 questions: How much more mileage can I push myself into? Why am I so slow today? Is this a real ache or is it a figment of my imagination? Is this cold really gone? How much longer? The list is truly endless.
If there is one item that is more important in my training than any other, it’s the long run. Now this may not be true for everyone, but for me it is. I need the psychological confidence that I can handle long distance week after week. Two weeks ago, when I found myself on meds for a sinus infection that I seemed to have been fighting for weeks, I refused to skip my long run. Instead, I took one day off while waiting for meds to kick in, then plowed through 15 miles after work the next day. Last week, I worked 2-3 miles around the Chilly Half-marathon. Week by week, like all marathon trainees, I keep adding a bit more to my long run.
Despite this, I found the thought of running 16 miles yesterday overwhelming. For whatever reason, the first milestone past 15 miles was becoming a mental obstacle. I was also completely on my own, again, and the temperatures dropped a lot in the past week. But I knew that I had to, absolutely had to, get it done.
So I headed out at 8:00 a.m. in my New Balance 1080’s. Four miles later, I stopped by the house, as planned, and changed into my new 1080’s, my marathon shoes which I am just breaking in. Six miles later, I decided to continue to run further away from home before turning around so that I wouldn’t have to run past my house to reach the 16 miles that I was aiming for.
And it worked. By the time I got home, I logged 16.2 miles. The best part of this was my last four miles were 15 seconds/mile faster – planned – and I wasn’t feeling exhausted. Even this morning, 24 hours later, I found the dreaded recovery run fairly easy to do.
I wasn’t confident when I left my house, but I got back feeling great – mentally and physically strong. Yesterday told me that I am where I need to be with my training and I will be ready for Boston 2017.