Monday, April 12, 2010

The Long Run

So, this weekend, I think I may have actually hit 20K for my long run. It's hard to tell for sure because my Gmaps Pedometer will only record driving routes, and if you don't follow the rules of the road (cause you're a PERSON, not a CAR), it won't let you go certain places. But with a little guess-timation, I'm going to say 20K.

This is exciting because:
A) It means that if I can keep up (or add to) this distance without injury, then I can certainly complete my race in May.
B) I haven't done this kind of distance since before my first child was born over 5 years ago.

I'd forgotten how much I love distance running. Long runs get a bad rap, I think. They're really just about getting out the door and putting one foot in front of the other. You don't have to go fast. You don't have to get all fancy and put in hills. You just have to go the distance. And the next week, go a little bit farther.

And then, there's the Sweet Spot.

The Sweet Spot, for me, is when I hit my stride and feel that I can just run forever. As long as I don't stop or have to speed up, that is. Stopping is death to the Sweet Spot. That's why I stick to the Lakeshore, where there are few lights and early morning runs when you can ignore the lights that are there. Speeding up is possible, but I'd better be fairly close to the end of the run or I'll putter out.

I don't usually hit the Sweet Spot till about 15K into a run, so let's just say that I haven't felt that feeling in a long time. (FYI: Before the 15K point, all I want to do is whine and moan and complain and shout "when is this agony going to end??").

But I'd forgotten how great it feels to go just a little bit further each week. See new sights. Forge new paths. It's such a feeling of accomplishment. Of empowerment. And I know that even if my day goes to hell, I've done something good. That, for me, is worth all the agony in the world. It feels that good.

So, if you happen to be up at an ungodly early hour next Saturday morning, think of me plugging away... And go back to sleep! Why the eff are you up??!