This past weekend was a “recovery week” in my marathon training so I had only 16 miles to run instead of the previous week’s 20 miles. A few of my running partners who I usually meet up with for my long runs were out this week traveling and, unfortunately, nursing some injuries, so I took this opportunity to tackle a long run solo.
I usually hate doing long runs by myself. I have struggled with training alone in the past, my mind likes to play games and that has been a hurdle for me. However, I know the marathon is going to be a solo race and I am going to have to get through those head games that strike around mile 18, so I set out Saturday morning on my own.
I hadn’t run the W&OD trail by my house in a while and knew the hills would be good for me. I welcomed the excuse of the alone time to listen to my book and worked on keeping my pace slower than I normally run on the trail, knowing that my plan called for the last four miles at marathon pace. I cruised through the miles, fending off my usual mental blocks and for the first time, in a long time, I wasn’t willing myself to the end. Even when I had to pick up the pace, I was able to hold it pretty steady, a little faster than I plan on running the marathon at, and felt great when I finished.
This was the run that I needed. It was a total confidence booster for the 26.2 miles that I will be taking on in a little over a month. My training has been going great (knock on wood), I have been cross training, a first for me, and I finally got a chiropractor to work out the kinks in my hip so I don’t experience such tightness in my hamstring during the later miles. I’m getting even more excited for my race and will remember this run around mile 23 when all I want to do is finish!
BRING IT ON MARATHON, I’m not scared any more!