Setting the Tone, 14 miles In

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.

Calvert Hill Just Keep Running

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.

if it scares you and excites you

Image source.

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…



Filed under challenges, DC, Goals, MCM, running, things that make you go Hmmmm, training

11 responses to “Setting the Tone, 14 miles In

  1. Way to keep running! Those temps with that humidity can’t be easy!
    I have an Ironman in less than three weeks. Although I started training later than I would have liked, I felt good about things. Then my shoulder bummed out last week so I’ve had to take it easy. Mind over matter come race day though!

  2. I just started running again after being on the bench for 3 months with a broken foot. Yesterday was my 2nd run back. Only 3 miles but I was so excited I don’t think that I even felt the hot weather and humidity. I DO know I was drenched in sweat when I got home.:-)

  3. This practically gave me goosebumps. You said what many of us runners are thinking. I am so proud of you for tackling the long run, as summer doesn’t make it easy.

    You have the best head on your shoulder and I can’t wait to hear about more of your training. You take the best care of your body and it shows!

  4. Jamie

    I know how you feel! I had to do 14 miles in NJ on Saturday and the humidity was brutal! I kept going though… one foot in front of the other; just bought more gatorade/water along the way!

  5. I ran ONE mile today (first “run” post-stress fracture!) and it felt amazing. Don’t think I could’ve managed 14 though 🙂

  6. BLECH. I whined and complained through 8 this weekend. I want fall!

  7. Great job pushing through it! I’m amazed at everyone running along the Potomac in this heat. DC’s weather really ruined running for me, now I stick to crossfit stuff in an AC gym. I’m more than a little jealous of those of you with the mental fortitude to beat the heat 🙂

  8. Woot! I love early morning long runs. Feels so satisfying.

  9. Looooooove that mantra!! It’s exactly why I’m training for my first 26.2! I am loving that you’re on your way to another 26.2 right now too – I can learn from you! 🙂

  10. Wow, awesome job! Especially in that heat!! Excited to hear about your training as you keep adding on those miles!! And that quote is one of my favorites! A motto, almost, for me 😉

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