While running lately, the first two miles usually always are horrible. I feel so slow and tired and always want to cut my runs short. But if I hang on and give it a chance, 90% of the time it gets much better and I get into the swing of things. It becomes easier and I feel normal again. It’s so hard to focus on getting over that 2 mile warm up hump and not throw in the towel early. So many people who do not run are shocked that I run as much as I do and ask me how I can run so far and why?! Honestly, it’s something I’ve just grown to love and I have to remember that the first two miles usually are tough but once you can get past those the runner’s high kicks in.
For me, the hardest part is hearing my pace when I hit the first mile over my headphones. I really start to tear myself down and wonder why it feels so hard. I start to play the comparison game and that doesn’t help. I wonder why my legs feel so heavy and why I’m so tired. I try to stay positive and hope for some pep in my step. Recently, I’ve been running a few new routes that will allow me to tack on a few extra miles at the end if I am feeling good and if not, I can turn for home. I always hope for at least 3 miles and then after I get over the slump miles, I feel like I can put it into cruise control and it gets much easier and add on 2-3 more miles. By having these routes that give me the ability to add more mileage, it gives me a little more confidence to get through the beginning miles. I know I have the back up plan of always turning home if I feel like I can’t get in into gear. When I get into the runner’s high, I finish feeling so strong and much faster than when I started.
Knowing that I can get past those sluggish miles and focus on what is to come has been allowing me to have much better runs. It’s hard to start and feel down on myself, but if I look at it as a ‘workout’ type run and those miles are my warmup, it’s easier to accept the slower times and use them to my advantage instead of seeing them as a disadvantage. Giving myself a chance to get through the first miles has helped my confidence and gotten me back to running farther. Getting back into running and including it in my routine is constantly changing, but it has been much easier to accept where I’m at now. If I work at keeping a positive mindset throughout the good and bad miles it helps me feel more in control of each run.