Sooo…four weeks down, twelve to go! This week, I did 19 miles…3.5 hours of running! It feels like so much more, though, time-wise…now that school has started again, I swear, I feel like all I do anymore is work and run. My couch time (make that downtime of any kind) has greatly diminished compared to the spring.
The 8-miler on Saturday went well. I went up 234 to Toddsbury Ln, down Fincastle to Spriggs Road, up Spriggs to Minnieville, then to Cardinal, and finally down Waterway almost all the way home…finished just one second under an hour and a half. I figure that’s pretty decent. I am STILL managing to average out to just over 11 minutes per mile, even though I walked a total of 8 minutes. Makes me curious as to what my mileage splits are…wish I had a GPS watch!
Plus, as I add mileage, I’m having to add loops and detours to existing routes, and a GPS watch would help there, too, because I bet it’s going to start to get harder and harder to remember routes unless I keep them really simple…which I can do…but I find myself more comfortable staying closer to the house. Something about the idea of running several miles away from home and then turning around and following the same route back intimidates me…maybe it’s the monotony of an out-and-back run as opposed to a loop…maybe it’s the idea of being so far away, phoneless, in case I were to fall or twist an ankle badly or something. (Not that I’m out in the hinterlands…I’m sure I wouldn’t be roadkill long before someone came along with a cellphone.) I guess it’s just a psychological thing.
This week’s lesson, though, has been to take it one day at a time. I know it sounds cliche, and probably sounds like an easy thing to do, but I’m serious…this is sinking in to me now in ways it never has in the past. I’m starting to rack up some mileage here, and suddenly, I have work to contend with, too. Last week I had some serious reservations about what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s a very daunting prospect! In the next couple weeks, 3-mile weekday runs will become 4, 6, 7-mile weekday runs. This Saturday, I’ll be tackling a 10-miler, launching me into the double digits. The hour and a half run I did three days ago is going to become FOUR HOURS of RUNNING by the beginning of November!
There’s simply no other way to handle this than to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME. I’ll never make it through this any other way. It is simply too overwhelming to think about. So when the thought pops up that I have a huge, difficult run coming up, I’m trying to push it out of my mind and refuse to think about it. And if I can’t do that, I’m trying to frame it in as positive a way as I can. Trying to focus on how strong it makes me feel, how impressed I am with myself, or how much I like that tight, just-worked feeling I get in my abs after a run. In other words, I’m trying to train myself to refuse to think about any upcoming run but today’s.
Ideally, this lesson will work like all lessons you learn through athletics…what’s true in the athletic arena is almost always true in “real life.” It would be great if I could really learn how to avoid worrying about future problems, and only focus on what I have to accomplish today. It’s so much harder than it seems. But I know there’s absolutely no other way to handle my training…so here goes.
This coming week, I do 3 on Monday, 5 on Tuesday, 3 on Thursday, and TEN on SATURDAY!! Week 5 Mileage: 21!