Embracing the Long Run
Back in high school I used to dread long run day. The thought of running anything longer then 6 miles made me want to cry. In high school it was more me running 9 mile runs just so I didn't have to hear my coach fuss at me. In college long runs were few and far. I don't really remember running over 8 miles. When I decided to move back home to be coached by my high school coach, I had to get back into the routine of long runs. This time it wasn't 9 mile long runs but 10 to 12 miles. Since then I've learned to love my long runs, my double days, and all the fitness gains that come from them. As of this past Saturday I've put in a consistent 11 weeks of long runs. They all haven't felt great, they all haven't been fast, but they have all contributed to the way I felt on Saturday. I felt in control of my body, the pace, and I fell into a groove that just felt right. When things start to click and I start to feel as though my long run is just another day I get excited, and I know greatness is own its way. I can tell that my fitness is about to step into a new zone. This zone is what I live for; it's my chance to fall in love with running again at any given moment in my training.
Sometimes it's difficult to get out the door and have open arms to 11 miles of pavement. I'm thankful that my coach knows this and changes up how I do my long runs week to week. Progressions, pick ups, steady states, easy and relaxed, are all the types of long runs that I get to do. And I'm excited about the next half of my fall. It will be filled with fun, fast, and grueling work, but this time I have open arms to everything. Yes, I might wake up one morning and want to punch my coach for putting a 12 mile progression run on the schedule when it's raining, but I'm going to get up, lace up my shoes, throw on a hat and welcome each puddle I come across.