Tough Twelve

My new mantra: “Tough Runs Make You Stronger.”

 

I repeated that to myself over and over on Saturday morning’s long run. I’m not sure what exactly made this run so tough, but it wasn’t easy! I’ll start from the beginning…

 

My alarm went off at 6:30 am, and I fueled up with two slices of toast. Peanut butter jelly time!

 

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I drove over to meet Kelly (and her friend Sara) for a portion of the run. I was so happy to run with friends instead of by myself. Long runs are not just a physical challenge, but mentally difficult, too!

 

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Kelly, Sara, and I ran the first 8.0 miles together. It started off pretty cool outside, and we started at a pretty fast pace. A few times I looked down at my watch, and we were running sub 9:00 min/mile pace! I knew if I didn’t slow down, I wouldn’t make it.

 

The course we ran was a giant 8.0 mile loop, which made it mentally easier than running in circles around a single neighborhood. As it started to heat up outside, I got increasingly more tired. I had to ask Sara and Kelly to slow down, and even to walk a few times.

 

Once we got back to Kelly’s house, I re-filled my water bottle with Gatorade. I was really dragging at this point, especially knowing that I had 4.0 more miles to go. The extra sugar gave me the boost I needed to get back out there.

 

Kelly and I ran another 1.6 miles together before calling it quits.

 

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It was brutally hot out at this point, and I was about to give up. I was tired and dehydrated, and just didn’t think I could finish.

 

Instead, I drove 5 minutes down the road to the gym, where I finished up my long run. With only 2.4 miles left to complete my 12.0, my legs were heavy and dragging. The gym air conditioner was broken, and I started sweating more than I had been outside.

 

I ran an easy 10:00 min/mile pace to finish up the run, and was relieved for it to be over.

 

I was a hot, sweaty, disgusting mess… and I smelled pretty darn bad, too!

 

Total Run: 12.0 miles

Total Time: 1:56:00

Average Pace: 9:40 min/mile

 

At least I finished! 🙂

 

Once I got back to the house, I made a big bowl of oatmeal. Considering how warm I was, it wasn’t exactly my top choice, but it was the only filling food in Mark’s pantry.

 

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I topped it with fresh pomegranate and frozen blackberries.

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Note to self: Opening a pomegranate makes a mess!

 

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I know that tough runs only make me stronger. I also know that hard runs are the ones that teach you the most. A bad run can indicate something that you need to improve upon.

 

This week I struggled to maintain a solid sleep schedule due to working long and late hours. I also felt very dehydrated, which affects me more than anything.

 

How do you get through a tough long run?

 

❤ MegaNerd

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9 Responses

  1. Great job making it through the total miles even on a tough day. You deserve a great deal of credit for it. Happy Halloween!

  2. Great blog!

    I know what you mean by some runs being tougher than others! Sometimes the body is just tired or your mind is tired or sometimes it is just unexplainable.

    I am very much like you- I tell myself the same thing. I also remind myself that I can slow down and stop for walking breaks if need be- there is no need to kill myself. I am def stubborn and finish the job just like you haha

  3. For sure the mental part is the hardest. Way to go toughing it out!!! You have come such a long way in a few months building back up your runs…you should be so proud of yourself!!

  4. Mentally difficult runs are 10000 times harder than physically difficult ones. I just tell myself that the faster I run, the faster it will be over, and that in two hours I’ll be back at my house doing nothing for the rest of the day. The time a long run takes really is a jiffy in the scheme of things!! Awesome job finishing 🙂

  5. Congrats on the run!!! What an awesome effort!

  6. Ugh, tough long runs can be the worst. I try to remind myself of how I’ll feel when I’m finished–no matter how bad the run gets, I know I’ll at least have a sense of accomplishment once I’m done. I also try to distract myself from the running by singing a song in my head (I don’t listen to music or anything when I’m running) or even just by counting my steps. Having something else to focus on can at least keep you from making the run mentally tough in addition to physically tough.

  7. i remind myself how good i will feel when im done. and i start counting down minutes.

  8. Way to go on your 12 mile run. Sometimes running (or any kind of exercise really) comes down to motivation. Glad you were able to make it through.

  9. Mantra’s are definitely the only thing that gets me through long runs. I mostly say things like….”okay, you ran that mile, you can run the next”, or “one step in front of the last”.

    Way to go on the run!!

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