This last week of running has been rather interesting, so thought I’d put all of my unique and amazing epiphanies here…
On Wednesday, I ran 6 miles. A couple of interesting notes on this–the first is that I found “my pace.” I’ve always enjoyed long strides, walking kind of fast, etc. It’s rather silly, but I feel like I’m accomplishing more, and it makes me think of President Kimball’s saying to “Lengthen your stride” (He actually meant in just about every way except in your actual pace, but oh well). Anyway, about halfway through my run I started taking longer strides, and found that I could hold that pace (at least for the remaining three miles of that run). I don’t think I’m going to be able to run that for the duration of the marathon, but I really enjoyed it, and am trying to run that pace as much as I can (It’s about a 7 minute-mile pace, where I normally ran about 8.5).
At the same time, I realized how much of a mental exercise running is. When I ran those three miles, I could tell that my legs were getting very tired, and it didn’t really matter. I decided that was how I was going to run, and I did, and it was incredibly fun!
Thursday’s run was almost the opposite. My earbuds wouldn’t stay in, and so I gave up sticking them back in every few steps at about 2.5 miles. It was really frustrating. That frustration, on top of not having the music to run to, made the rest of the run very difficult (and it was only four miles). I knew that I depended on the music a lot, but I hadn’t realized how large that dependency was (It actually bugs me; perhaps more than it should). During that run, I realized a couple things:
First, I realized that to really be able to run without the music, I would need to work hard at focusing (“Focus, Danielson!”). I would need to be able to ignore the “you’re getting tired” voice and concentrate on other things.
Second, I realized that I do want to get to that point. I don’t think that’s going to happen for this marathon, but I think I can get there for a later marathon. I may start doing my shorter runs without music for a while and see how that goes.
Saturday’s run was noteworthy in that it was the first run with a distance greater than a half-marathon. I ran a half-marathon last year, so up to this point every run I’ve done, I could tell myself “This is something you’ve done before.” Saturday’s run was 15 miles, and I started having a pretty hard time as I was getting close to mile 13. But then it came and went, and I realized that I really could do it–I could go the 15 miles for that day. When the 18 miler comes up, I’ll be able to do that, as well as the 20 miler, and the marathon itself. It was a rather neat experience.