I picked a race…or, rather, Ryan (aka YaYa) picked a race and I only hesitated for a night before registered. We will be running the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in November. The race is a trail run, and a difficult one at that. So I do not have time for a slow easy build. I need to get my arse in gear ASAP.
My first longish run was this morning. Instead of flat, I decided it best not to delay the inevitable; I hit the trail for a familiar 5-mile loop which I’ve hiked more times than I can count. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d run the 3 mile or the 5 mile loop when I left home. That first mile or so was a little rough, even going with the more gentle direction. I don’t know exactly why I choose to turn left for the longer route, except that I figured I could walk if I tired out.
Well, that first 2 miles was not pretty. I was huffing & puffing, and could feel the weather heating up already. I didn’t have water so I wanted to finish in decent time. I started a little self-talk activity — reminding myself to relax, smile, be in the moment (ie enjoy the wind on my face), and reminding myself that my body (albeit different that the Juls who BQ’d 10+ years ago) is capable, strong and can endure. As I talked to myself, I greeted others and verbally encouraged them as well.
Before long, I was taking on the final climb in the run. My legs felt tired and heavy. I was going so slow that it was all-to-easy to just walk. I picked a target ahead of me as a minimum run-to-spot and, when I got there, began walking. I went for a bit and urged myself to run again but the pick up really didn’t go well. I was walking before I even got going. I reminded myself not to be discouraged and walked a bit longer before trying again.
Before long, I was cresting the hill and headed down hill. I was tired, inspired, and happy. [Read more…]