Tomorrow I have a 7 mile run planned. 7 miles is not the farthest distance I have run, but it is the longest for me since July 14th. 7 miles is just a weekly training run for some, and there are others who will never run this distance in their lifetime.
I remember the first time I attempted a 7 mile run. I was training for the San Francisco Half Marathon 2012 and I was elated just to watch the miles add up week after week. I knew I could finish if I just took the run slow; each step was a step closer to the 7 mile goal. It may not have been a speedy effort, but as long as I kept moving forward I would eventually get there.
The most difficult thing about being an injured runner (or any athlete for that matter) is the mental defeat that can come with having to cease activity. There is almost a guaranteed loss of fitness during a layoff, and it’s hard not to compare your recovery efforts to your pre-injured self. Even with cross-training, there is still an adjustment period as you re-introduce your body to sport.
I’m very grateful my injury was mild and I can run again, but every now and then I’m finding myself brush off my efforts. I’m “only” running 3 miles at a time, or I “only” ran 6 miles last week, very “slowly.” I will probably take several walking breaks tomorrow-and I need to be OK with that. Because 2 months ago I wasn’t able to run 1 mile. I ran a marathon earlier this year, and with patience and dedication I WILL see 26.2 again!
I read a great piece of advice earlier this week on another blogger’s site that really stuck with me. Piratebobcat writes in his post Training tip: Practice like you Play! about preparing for training runs like you would a race. He talks about fueling properly before a run, and describes how he preps all of his clothes/training gear the night before so it’s an easy transition to just wake up and get the job done. It’s such a simple concept but one that I certainly do not adhere to. What I love about this is it not only makes life easier, but gives due respect to the training run. If I approach race day with pride, why not all of the hard work it takes to get there? After all, it’s the journey not the destination.*
7 miles tomorrow is not going to be “only” 7 miles. It’s my 7 mile long run for the week and I’m ready!
Gear is all set!
*I do love getting the medal, though!