Friday, October 13, 2017

Thoughts of a Marathon Relayer

When I was training for my first marathon, I did a post called Random Thoughts from a marathoner in training.  Some people commented that they liked posts like that, so I decided to do a part 2 (although now I’m only doing a marathon relay). My thoughts aren’t as random this time. They are all related to running!

One day last week I took my run to the rail trail. This is where I go when I want to do a longer run without interruptions since I don’t have to worry about traffic, red lights, broken sidewalks, or tripping over roots. My plan was to do 5 miles and if I could stick to the plan and do that, I would allow myself to make a pit stop at the Starbucks located along the trail before returning to my car.  Here are my 5 thoughts during this run.

It was still afternoon when I started and the sun was up in all its glory so it was still hot out! As I ran the first mile I could feel the tightness in my legs, my calves, and my ankles. It was a BIG reminder that I needed to get myself back to the gym.  I was definitely feeling the results of not stretching or strength training over the summer.  I finished the first mile at my target pace.

As I started the second mile I thought to myself “What am I doing”?  I don’t need to be pushing so hard on a training run.  I know I always say I don’t care about pace, but when I am running by myself, I seem to always want to push and see what I can do. That’s why I will never run without my Garmin.  Turns out I really did listen to myself and said “pace doesn’t matter, it’s all about getting the miles in”, but as my mind was processing it, I thought well if pace doesn’t matter than why don’t I just start walking?”  I was really struggling with my own thoughts here!  Of course pace does matter but not to the point where I need to push myself like on race day.

 I bargained with myself and decided I would run to the next half mile marker and then I would let myself walk for a few minutes.   I got to the end of the second mile and of course was disappointed in myself. I felt like cutting my run short (to only 4 miles) and just going back to my car. At this point I didn’t care about treating myself to a frappe from Starbucks nor did I feel like I even deserved it.

This didn’t bother me on my run, nor is it a reason I was struggling, but I could feel a slight niggle under my right knee cap. I felt it was at least worth mentioning (or remembering) in case it turned into something later.

I continued to run and when I got to the turn around point things actually started to get a little easier.  I don’t know if it was because the slight headwind that was blowing warm air on me had subsided or if it was a mental thing because I knew I was on my way back. I decided to just run at a steady pace that felt comfortable. I made it to mile 5 and decided that indeed deserved the frappe!  Afterwards I walked one extra mile just for good measure!    -M 

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