I haven’t been running “long” for quite a few months so when I started training again and following a plan at the beginning of January I knew what was in my future, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I am starting to ramp up my miles slowly to make sure that I can stay injury free and also to make sure that I don’t get burned out. I have put together a plan for the next four months leading up to Boston and each month I’m focusing on different things to keep it fresh and keep me motivated. This month it’s all about being consistent. Even though I have a few tempo runs scattered throughout my training, I’m not worried as much about hitting the times but more about getting in each run and getting back into the routine.
The hardest part so far has been getting my body used to the higher mileage. Over the past three months I’ve been running 3-5 miles at whatever pace I felt like. Now that most of my runs include a warm up and cool down, I’m running 6-8 miles more consistently and I forgot how much it really wears me out. I’m so tired after a long run or workout and I am so hungry. I need to remember to take snacks with me in my purse and drink lots of water throughout the day.
Another thing that really is difficult is pushing through the bad runs and knowing that soon I’ll be right back where I was a few months ago. When I’m out running and I’m half way through, I need to stay positive and focus on each mile and keep running. Every step is one more step closer to being done. I’ve been having a lot of mentally tough workouts lately because I feel like I’m working so hard and not running as fast. It’s important to complete the miles even though sometimes they seem to go on forever. I’ve been breaking down my workouts by mile and focusing on what I’m running at the moment so I don’t feel overwhelmed. A 2 mile warm up, with 3 faster miles and a 2 mile cool down makes a 7 mile tempo run sound easier.
My long run this past weekend was one of those runs. I felt like I was just running forever. I couldn’t find a rhythm but I did know that I needed to finish. Just like yesterday morning, the miles dragged on and on and onnnnnnn. I just wanted to stop, but again, knew I had to keep going because I needed to get the miles in. These are the tough runs but come race day they are the ones that will make me feel more prepared. Every time when I talk to my fellow coaches about my run I did that day they say but you didn’t quit. It’s important to remember that. In another 3-4 weeks these will start feeling much easier and I know I have to get though this murky part to get to the smoother seas.