Every few weeks of my marathon training, I am afforded an opportunity to “step back” from the ever increasing mileage. This reduction in long run mileage provides a nice opportunity to examine my progress. Just as in life in general, this self-evaluation is essential to forward motion and success.
An additional benefit of this temporary decrease in the progressively longer long runs is a little more freedom to do something a little different than the norm. A break from pavement training is certainly one welcomed change.
I head out on my favorite trail with one very special guy — who is really appreciative that I am sharing this bit of heaven with him. He’s a stronger runner than me (at least in the 1st 10 miles or so) but I am sure that, if we were to go long enough, I would eventually catch up. I don’t try to run his pace.
Constantly, I remind myself that this is my training run and that I need to go my own pace. It’s best this way; I have a lot on my mind. I let him take the lead and step back a bit to reflect on my progress in many areas of my life. And after a bit of self-reflection has transpired, I am able to pick up the pace and take the lead for a while.