Two months from today is the Richmond marathon. For the first time since I’ve committed to running it, I feel confident that it will be a successful race for me. Before this weekend’s long run, I’ve wondered, doubted and questioned if I’d be ready to run.
My hip injury and the summer heat have been hard on me physically and mentally. Recognizing that my biggest obstacle this training cycle would be my brain, I made one goal for Sunday’s run: run with a light and happy heart. Negative self-talk has clouded my head lately on runs.
As I drove to meet my running coach and teammate Sunday morning, I felt relaxed and at ease. I’d talked with my coach the day before about my new nutrition plan for running. We also chatted about a nagging foot pain (don’t wait to replace your shoes!). If all went well, I’d run 13 miles.
The warm up to the trail didn’t feel out of my comfort zone this week although the pace was identical (to the second). I was able to converse with my teammate instead of nodding yes and hoping I didn’t have to complete a full sentence. I stayed with her when we hit the trail past the first mile marker. She eventually pulled away as we knew she would, but I kept her in my sight. Somewhere along that 3.5 mile stretch of trail, it happened: my running zen. It showed back up and my heart sung. It has been months, many many months, since I’ve hit that sweet spot in running. I quit searching for mile markers. There wasn’t a doubt in my head. The long straight boring stretch of the Cape Henry Trail didn’t seem that long or that straight or that boring. I remembered just how lucky I am to run in this very spot week after week. (Thank you to those who commented last week to remind me of this fact. Your comments found me on my run.) When I left the trail, I was shocked to see a pace of 8:35 on my garmin.
I continued my run to the boat docks and returned back to the trail for the stretch back to my car. That nagging foot pain returned around mile 8, my pace slowed down, but my mental confidence never failed me. As I ran down the trail, I ran a new 10 mile personal best. My garmin beeped at 1:28. I knew I was headed to another personal best for the half marathon distance too. I ran happy and light the entire way back to my car.
With two months to go, my head and my heart are finally in the right place to double Sunday’s distance in marathon #2. I’m ready for the journey to unfold.
Two months from today, I will be running marathon #2 in Richmond. I am going into that race with the same goal as this Sunday’s run: a light and happy heart. In three weekends I will also be running the Crawlin Crab half-marathon. Fall race season is here.
This weekend’s run: 13.2 miles (garmin 11.75 before battery died)
Based on final pace, I’m estimating my total run was 1:57:40
8:56, 8:51, 8:42, 8:47, 8:35, 8:35, 8:45, 8:47, 9:20, 9:27, 9:20, 9:20 pace
Nutrition Plan: Hammer Perpetuem when I wake up plus two Honey Stinger Chews. Chews at mile 5. Next week, I need to add them at mile 10 also.