I don't know how many times I've pulled up for a long run with Toni and announced, "ugh, this run is going to suck." Or I've said it on the way to the run in my head. My stomach was upset, I couldn't find my ipod/GUs/handheld/favorite shorts, Garmin is dead, etc. YOU GET THE POINT. Guess how many of these runs were great ones? Zero. I set the intention that the run was going to suck, and guess what? It did.
A few weeks ago I had a long run with all the cards stacked against me.
- Toni was out of town, solo long run.
- 12 miles, longest long run in months.
- Feels like temp of 77 (at 5:15am) and 95% humidity.
- I couldn't find my Garmin (I had forgotten I decided to charge it as I was laying out my clothes).
- I forgot my iPod and turned around to go get it.
- In turning around to get my iPod I was late to the 5:15am group run, so I didn't get company for the first 2 ish miles like I had hoped.
- When I got to the meet up spot MY FREAKIN' IPOD WAS DEAD ANYWAY.
Despite all of those things, I tried to enforce positive self-talk:
- This will be such good mental training, to run solo, without distraction.
- This is basically two hours of moving meditation.
- I am so lucky to have two+ hours of time to run and not feel like I should be doing something else.
- The run will probably be challenging with the heat and humidity but long runs are supposed to be challenging, perfect.
When the sun came up during the second half and I was really starting to feel toasted, I repeated in my head how thankful I was during the tiny moments of shade, especially during the last 2.5 miles where I was really out in the open. I put zero pressure on myself for an "appropriate" long run pace, and just opted to run by feel knowing that completing a 12 mile long run on a challenging day like that was a win enough.
And it was good. My pace during the second half of the run was a little faster than the first half of the run. The pace really wasn't much slower than my LR pace from this spring with Toni in much nicer conditions. I sweated my ass off, but the heat didn't kill me like it usually does. And I found myself singing some of my favorite songs in my head while miles ticked off.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions to further this goal, I know I have a lot of room for improvement and am excited to see how it translates further into race performances!