5 Miles

 Posted by at 8:26 pm  fitness
Nov 252011
 

Today I ran five miles. [Bringing me up to 21:60 – 39 more miles to run before 2012!

mileage11.25

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.

sunset

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. 
Try 3.5.
and 4.
and 4.5.
and let 5 be your magic distance, too.

Because you are stronger than you think you are. I promise.

  2 Responses to “5 Miles”

  1. Good for you :) And just wait until you reach 10 miles – which you will – that is a big, big “whoa” distance. :)
    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) recently posted..Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

  2. Isn’t it the best? Totally had that same experience. I had never run more than about 2 1/2 or 3 before I signed up for a half marathon last year. I set out to run 4 miles, and did it. Then 5, then 6 (major struggle) and eventually, 12.2 miles. best feeling in the world! It’s amazing what a mental game running is.
    Andrea recently posted..Cranberry, pomegranate, and kale stem stuffing.

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