Nine miles. The daunting mileage that I secretly wished to avoid for...well, forever. The last time I ran exactly 9 miles it was my "Run of Death", as I refer to it. It completely sucked the life out of me, and I was convinced that there was no way I would ever be able to do more than that, or to ever run again at all. I spent more time walking on that run that I EVER walk, and I was fairly certain that I was going to freeze to death because I couldn't run or really even walk any more. At all. And I was still miles from home. I have a huge mental block in relation to the 9 mile run.
So this week my medium length run was supposed to be 9 mile. Guess who didn't want to do it? I worked this weekend, so I am physically tired. I feel it in my eyes, my knees, my body. I have the 18 mile long run looming over my head, so I should really not run this 9 mile loop as I prepare for the really long one, right? My knees are hurting, so I shouldn't even try to run 9, right? I'm tired. I have homework...What other excuses can I come up with to NOT tackle this run?
I did go out on this run today, and it was ok. Not my best run ever, not even something I really enjoyed, but I am glad I did it. There's no way I was going to do it on the same course I ran it the first time, so it involved a bit more planning and rerouting, but I did it. Tired and with hurting knees, I plodded on. I guess a better word to describe it would be plodding, rather than running or even jogging. As I switched from a podcast (2 Gomers Run a Marathon - LOVE them!) to music, I realized that when my body is feeling like I am running in a pool of molasses, music may be a good way to come out of that. Not a perfect fix, but probably something I should start the run with the next time I feel like that.
Less than a year ago I was completely anti-headphones while running. I loved listening to my own breath, the birds singing, the wind rustling the leaves on the trees. Now I couldn't run without my headphones. At least not more than a few miles. The music and podcasts help me to focus on God or my pace or relationships or ...well, lots of things. If I was just thinking about running all the time, I think I would talk myself into quitting a lot rather than enjoying tuning out, mellowing out, and breaking out of my old limitations.