A long run. How long is long? Well a year ago, my long run was 1 mile, if even that! I was injured due to an anatomical foot injury which sidelined me for over a year. I craved to get back into marathon shape, having previously completed 3 marathons. This year marks 5 years since I have been able to run a marathon. It’s been a long haul to get my body back in shape to run a long run, no pun intended.
I have been fortunate to work my way back into shape, and work my mileage up to achieve a true long run – 12 miles. The past few weeks, this has been my long run of choice. The reason the long run is so special is because it requires so much from your body – strength, stamina, mental positivity, endurance. A year ago when 1 mile was my long run, it required all of those same aspects. It was extremely intimidating to me to look at a track and realize that I was about to embark around the oval 4 times!!! My previous runs had been broken up with walking breaks, and those walking breaks were certainly needed. So to run 4 laps without a walking break …wowzers!
It’s taken me years to develop mental positivity. I struggled with this through high school and college. Once my legs began to get tired, all I wanted to do was walk. I usually didn’t, but my running pace probably became pretty close to a walk on a few occasions ;)! I eventually overcame this once I realized that there was never any criteria for me to finish in a certain time, or beat a specific team color. I was never expected to beat anyone, not even myself. I was only expected to run as well as I could on that given day.
Each time I run a long run, I don’t view it as an intimidating thing. I view it as an opportunity that I gained back after having it taken away from me for so long (the past few years with bilateral anatomical foot injuries). I don’t expect to run a certain time, or even a certain distance, as each day is different in the running world. I set small goals, and am delighted when I achieve them. And when I don’t, I take a step back and set my sights on another day.
I am blessed to be running again, AND to be achieving the distance I am on my long runs. Plus, it gives me bonus time to listen to a few extra Christmas songs – yes, I am one of those nutty people that LOVES listening to Christmas music early!!
What type of run is your favorite run?