No, please don’t even ask. I realize that 3.5 miles is only a half mile longer than 3 miles and yes, we had just run three miles, and no, no one jumped out of the bushes to scare the bejeezus out of me.
Baby steps. It’s just 3.5 miles. Should be easy, right?
Except I was feeling like a baby. A cry baby. One that curses and starts saying things like Oh S&^%!!! That’s a loooooong way to run, Brother!
What a Difference a Week Makes
Seriously. Somebody didn’t pay the heat bill. It was COLD!
I think that was the moment I started envisioning race day attire and planning a shopping trip. If an early October morning was this chilly, what would it be like a month later and a half hour earlier?
Props to everyone who responded, “Earlier and colder.” My money’s with you.
Mandy gave us our updates and we started our jumping jacks a little sooner than Beth began calling for them. Okay, so we were actually pogo’ing during announcements. Same idea.
Did I mention it was darn cold up there on the roof?
I Meet My Personal Distance Demon
Our route this week takes us down Monument to Franklin, then we turn around at Laurel Avenue, corner of Dorm Central.
I lived at both Rhoads Hall and Johnson Hall during my VCU days. Ah, fond memories.
Right now, I’m just trying to remember to focus and breathe as we’re crossing Shaffer and heading to Laurel, ready to cross the street and head back… up a hill?
Yeah, here’s what we discovered on our Wednesday night test run. The turn back up Franklin is literally a turn UP Franklin.
I now understand why so many races emphasize whether it’s a flat course. Running up a hill, even a slowly rising one, definitely pulls on the hamstrings and the psyche. It’s suddenly harder to dig through it, push forward, find the “all-day-long” pace that seemed to have been in place for the last couple of miles.
In short, hills suck. But, I’m told they’re excellent for building strength and form in the gluteus maximus. I try to remind myself and my butt of this interesting fact as we’re huffing and puffing our way up Franklin Street.
Three point five miles is a Long. Dang. Way.
Allison is Not the Same as Robinson
Here’s the scene: we’re huffing and puffing our way back down Monument. We have a vision. There’s Allison Street! Robinson is right after that! We’re nearly there!
No we’re not. We’re still like three blocks and another monument away.
I gotta tell you, when your brain tells your legs that the finish line is near, then the brain comes back with that aerobics instructor fake out of, “Oops, I meant that’s the last one of those, you’ve still got twenty more of these…” well, the legs are not amused. Sometimes they just quit all together.
Our Mantra: All Day Long
You’ve heard me and Dexter mention it, so here’s the magic of “All Day Long.” One of the things that many beginning runner guides and our wonderful coaches have shared with us is that it’s important to find a pace that you could run all day long. It’s comfortable, but not pushing you to the point of exhaustion. There stride is purposeful but not rushed.
No, Seabiscuit, you do NOT have to pass that runner in front of you. We just need to maintain our pace.
All. Day. Long.
When the going gets tough on the run, Dexter and I adjust, both our brains and our pace. “All day long” is the reminder to find the right pace, but also to remember that we can do this. And we know we can do it because we are doing it.
Finished, But Not Done
This week’s run was definitely tougher. We really felt the longer distance for whatever reason, and our time showed it. Average pace this week was 4.8 mph, definitely behind our speed of previous weeks.
But that’s okay. We try to remember, and encourage everyone to keep in mind, that no matter how fast we’re going now, it’s still leagues beyond what we ever thought we could accomplish a year ago, or even just a few months ago.
The important part is continuing to face front and move forward. Be proud of every victory, no matter what its packaging, because we are most definitely Not Done Yet!
Wishing you an Awesomelicious Day, All Day Long!