My first “real” long run of this training cycle made sure to set the tone quickly – feel over thought, brain works with legs!
Only a few miles into the route, my mind was totes over it. This was not what all systems considered “fun”; it was exactly what DC considered a “summer” day.
The mind (and fluid-excreting cells) were quick to let me know that 10 ounces of water wouldn’t last 8 miles (i.e. the first “water stop”). It was quick to remind me that the chosen route wasn’t a shaded one, and that bridges may be windy but that doesn’t make them cool. It was quicker to suggest that maybe this day wasn’t one for 14 miles, that maybe we stop on the Mall and take advantage of that accessible Metro stop and maybe a huge ice-cold H2O would be the solution to every problem! Ever.
Looking around, you’d never know it was a 95* day, with 100% humidity. You would know that this city is an active one, and you might assume these “fitness types” are slightly masochistic. You might guess that we’re all out here with a similar goal – fall races deadlines don’t care what the temperature is, or how many more weeks of summer we have left. They just care that we get it done, train well, and ya know, bring more water every time.
The mind knew that my legs, toes, shins, quads, hamstrings, abs and arms were just fine. They would keep the forward motion going, no doubt. They were teaming up, despite the lazy heat-hating inner monologue.
Fourteen miles later, we were done. The first box on that “Long Run” list is checked, and there are 12 more waiting for similar satisfaction.
I know the distances, I know the prep and recovery, I know the fueling and I’m befriending this summer training thing. I know that each run should end on a hill of sorts, to prepare for MCM’s trademark. Regardless, I secretly know that after 26.1 miles the muscles will have already tagged-in the mind.
I know that I signed up for this challenge with a goal, and that won’t be accomplished unless both physical and mental limits are tested, over and over again.
Well alright then. Let’s do this…
What fits the above description for you right now? Don’t let the latter win – decide whether your head or your muscles are stronger on any particular day, and go with it.
Granting yourself the luxuries of shade, cold water and a personal fanner might help, too…