Today I ran five miles. [Bringing me up to 21:60 – 39 more miles to run before 2012!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but afterwards I got to looking at my running log and realized was the first time I had run more than 3 1/2 since July 10th, the day I ran the Boilermaker 15K.
I was surprised at how little of a deal it seemed; both before, during, and after my run. Most of my runs the past few months have hit the mark between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 miles. When I planned on running today, I had my mind set on five miles. I don’t know why – I don’t know what it was that put that number in my head, but I was focused on five.
During the run, there were several points in which I had to talk myself into continuing, but nothing more than the usual laziness and excuses that sneak into my mind from time to time. I was keeping about a 10:30 pace throughout, but taking several small walking breaks. I would guess I walked for 30-60 seconds, every five minutes or so. All along, I focused on five miles. The goal was firm in my mind.
After I finished, I walked a few minutes before heading home to stretch, shower, and rehydrate. I felt great, but there was no additional excitement because I had reached five miles. I was just feeling as thankful as I do when I run two miles, or spend ten minutes doing core sets in the living room. Then I sat in front of the computer, looked at my training log, and realized – oh…. five miles. it’s been awhile.
At one point during my run, I started to get tired and struggle a bit. I told myself a favorite mantra I’ve relied on several times in the past: “You are stronger than you think you are.” After I said it, I started to think over the phrase, what it means, and how true it might be.
In this case, I knew I could run five miles, even though it had been such a long time since I had conquered the distance. Jen once told me [back in the days when anything over 3.1 seemed like my death sentence] that once I hit five miles, the idea of distance would change in my mind. That once I ran five miles, I would think [and know] that I could reach any distance.
She was right. Five miles was my magic distance. The first time I ran five miles, my perspective was changed. And after those first five miles, several others followed. Those five miles brought me through a summer of good training, my first 5 mile race, and 10K, my first double digit run, and the Boilermaker. Those five miles set me up for success. They set me up for this place – to be able to go out and run five miles again, several months later, without a second thought.
I guess, in terms of the holiday weekend and all, I should admit that I am thankful for those miles – the first five mile run I ever completed.
If you are stuck at 3.1, I dare you to push forward.
and let 5 be your magic distance, too.
Because you are stronger than you think you are. I promise.