workout: 17 mile run
weather: 65/overcast/10-15 mph winds/slight drizzle
hr: avg. 161
time of day:1-3:30 pm
notes: achilles hurtin.
The long run...what an emotional rollercoaster. The week leading up to it you anticipate or look forward to "running easy"...just chillin to your ipod and thinking about stuff ...remembering an awesome race or long run (like qualifying for boston at chicago 06...still gives me chills!!, or the marathon during IM florida...easiest run EVER!) you have previously experienced, thinking that this run will be just like that. Since it's a week away it's easy to be optimistic.
The days leading up to it, you start...checking the temp./weather/wind speed. mapping your course. planning your day since it's gonna take up a chunk of time. Then the dread kicks in. Yes, you are gonna have to run for a looong time. Then the doubts kick in...even if you have done it a million times before (4 marathons, 2 ironman, and all the training leading up to it), you question yourself.
Even worse, you start thinking about BAD runs you've had in the past. Like the time during my first chicago marathon when my quads were cramping and quivering soooo bad at 21 mi....or my 14miler in the HEAT two weeks ago where I, not acclimated to the heat yet, was slowing down to 10:30-11 mpm, and yes, even took a walk break. The worst, my failure at the Boston marathon, the marathon I worked my ass off to qualify for, and I screwed it up. Yes, I finished, but what a disgrace! Combination of bad preparation and not enough training...
These thoughts, along with the fact that at this time last year I was much faster, and disappointment in myself that my training is not where it should be, made it tough to get out the door and enjoy this run.
But here's the beauty of it: the first hour is easy (as long as you keep the heart rate down) and after that, you feel kind of badass just for being out there. It makes you WANT to keep going even when you are having a rough time...you're a badass because you can DEAL with it. Then, I find it enjoyable to plan your favorite place to run as the homestretch...you'll finish up a good note. For me, it's the trail. From Kerrick Rd., I know I'm close and can fly home. Plus you might see people you know and you have to look like you are fast =) I planned running out in the country right before that...Northtown, Ziebarth, uuuuugggghhh nothing but cornfields and wind! Then...aaaaah the trail!! (and a water fountain)
Compared to last year, this run was too slow for my liking. But I gotta forget that, and see where I'm at NOW, progress from HERE, and be happy with the improvements I make.
That's a wrap for now, time for me to start daydreaming about my 18mi. run next week =)