I had planned to write this a few days ago, but a huge storm, a loss of power and Internet, and such got in the way…
Last Monday I jumped on the treadmill with the intention (and hope) of matching my six mile effort from two weeks previous and with the faint hope of being strong enough to power through one extra mile to reach seven.
I didn’t make it.
I ran well enough. I covered five miles, but five isn’t six and it certainly isn’t seven.
I was happy and pleased with my five mile effort. A good run is a good run. We need to appreciate our successful efforts and five miles is a successful effort.
Still, five isn’t seven.
The next morning, as I thought about my daily exercise and debated with myself about riding the stationary bike, lifting weights, going into my little boxing gym in my garage, or running again… I decided to run.
This was a big decision. I haven’t been running back-to-back days forcing myself to cross-train to not put too much stress and strain on my recovering tendon. And, even though five miles isn’t seven, a five mile effort, for me, right now, is a long run. I’ve only gone that far a handful of times this summer.
Because I am me (which isn’t always a good thing), I also decided to once again attempt to reach that seven mile mark… (If I was going to run, I figured I’d try to reach a new distance threshold. I had seven miles on my mind and wouldn’t be satisfied until I met that goal.)
I felt good. I felt strong. I had had physical therapy the evening before and was told that everything looks great and that I’m actually almost completely done with PT.
I also knew that one reason (maybe THE reason) I didn’t hit seven miles the day before was because I went out too fast and couldn’t maintain the effort. My enthusiasm killed the attempt.
Rather than starting at a faster pace and increasing the speed each mile, for this run I decided to start slowly and only occasionally increase my speed. In other words, if I was going to reach seven miles, it would be a long slow process. I planned to stay around the 5.0 miles-per-hour mark for the entire effort.
I was looking at an 84-minute run… almost an hour and a half – painfully slow. I knew, or hoped, that that was the way to make it there. My goal wasn’t speed, it was distance. I’m still coming back from surgery. I can’t get both my speed and my endurance back at the same time…
Long story short, I, of course did it. I reached seven miles! I went a little quicker than 84-minutes finishing in 82:15. But, who cares? The only people who really care about our running times are ourselves. Runner tend to obsess about stuff like that. Others just say, “You ran seven miles?”
Yeah. I ran seven miles.
It feels great, so great, so so so so great. I feel like a long-distance runner again.
I still have a long way to go, but I’m certainly getting there.