You guys, I’m finally building some mileage!
I read somewhere recently that when you’re preparing for your first race of a certain new distance, and your goal is just to finish, that speed work, hills, intervals, all of that fun stuff that competitive runners work really hard on isn’t as important as just getting the miles in. Getting used to moving that far on foot. If your goal is just to finish, last place or not, and get that little medal or coin, just log those miles. Worry about PR-ing on the next one.
So when I was hitting a 2.5 mile wall about a month ago I started panicking. Only a quarter of the distance of the Army Ten Miler before I hit a wall? When I was struggling at 2.5 miles, every quarter of a mile felt like work. I had no idea how I expected myself to finish 10 miles.
I think it was the first time I heard my Endomondo tracker say into my ear, “Four. Miles. In.” blah blah I don’t remember how long it took me to do four miles the first time. But I threw my arms into the air like Rocky.
So last night when my 10K trainer said my workout was complete and I still had .2 miles to go before hitting the 5 mile mark, instead of the usual “OH THANK GOD I’M DONE,” I just ran it out. .2 miles? Chump change. At that point I’d been running on achy legs for several miles, what was another .2?
And tonight when I felt like going for a run even though my legs are still a little achy (yes yes I’ll be taking a rest day tomorrow), and I told myself not to expect much distance, and to stop if I felt too sore, but I just kept going anyway? And going and going? Amazing. It was slow, but I didn’t stop. I just kept running.
And that was how I broke the wall. At this point, distance just feels like “what’s another ____?” Whether my pace is 30 seconds slower per mile than it was yesterday or not, the Ten Miler doesn’t intimidate me anymore. The 8k I’m running in November? Bring it on. My two half marathons early 2014? LEMME AT ‘EM! Now that I’m confident I can do it, I am thirsty for some finisher medals.