I have a secret: I ran almost 20 miles last week.
If you’ve been reading the blog much lately, you probably know why I’m simultaneously shocked, pleased, and scared of this number. Over the past month or so I’ve let illness, vacation, and the heat dictate how much and how often I run. Summer running can be so frustrating, and I’m just so TIRED OF IT. I don’t want to continue my “building blocks” approach to training—you know, the one where you train sporadically, almost get past the initial discomfort phase only to take some unnecessary time off and go right back to zero. One’s cardiovascular “base” should be a foundation—preferably concrete, and preferably unshakable. My base feels like a game of Jenga drawing near to its inevitable conclusion.
I. AM. TIRED. OF. IT.
So, last Wednesday I told Running Buddy that I needed something more than our typical two mile jog. I needed to prove that I was capable of climbing out of the rut I’d created for myself. I set the goal for four miles (I’m quite crazy enough to more than double my “normal” distance at one shot), and set the route for an out-and-back. (I know myself enough to realize that if I gave myself an out, I’d cut the run short.) Four and a half miles later, neither one of us was entirely pleased with my obstinance…but we had managed to break out of our routine. And, most likely, lose five pounds or so of sweat each. The next morning, I was back out on the road. I took a day off on Friday, but ran on both Saturday and Sunday.
And so, that is the story of my 19 miles. It’s a shocking number because my frustration had grown to the point where attempting to run seemed absolutely hopeless. I was beginning to wonder if it was really worth the trouble, and a return to “retirement” seemed more likely than a renewal of consistency. However, I’m pleased that, formidible an adversary as it may be, I was able to “beat the heat” for at least one week. And I’m a little bit scared that, if I’m not careful, I could be setting myself up for heat exhaustion and/or further disappointment.
So, until I figure out if I’m actually able to continue this trend, let’s keep my unusual week of running to ourselves. Shh!