I’m getting into the part of my training where I need a little pick-me-up.
I think new shoes are in order, shortly, but I opted this time to save flexing the finances too much and bought new running clothes. I bought a lululemon running skort and I’ve never been one to wear skirts while running. Maybe it was the little ruffles on the butt that make me feel like I’m wearing feathers, or knowing that we are running 26 km for our long run, but I went for it. The skirt and I will do our 26 km run in style.
We often seek motivation when we need to dig deeper and convince ourselves to keep going. Often a race will be incentive, but striving for something months away can seem a bit too long term. If you miss a run here and there, what difference will it make in 2 months time? To keep going, I chose to reward myself in way that makes me feel better about what I am doing. I have long ago learned that food is not good incentive, for me. I find myself eating empty glutinous calories that don’t make me look better, run faster or feel better. Rewards more directly related to running are a better fit. This week’s run will be long, and next week I have signed up to run a 6 km trail race up a ski hill. My incentive is that I will look fashionable, at least at the start.
Friday I had another chiropractor appointment and then went for a run. The chiropractor tells me everything is still moving well, and then he proceeded to massage and “therapize” parts of me I didn’t realize hurt so much. My piriformis muscle is sore, and it’s a tough one to stretch and soothe. Lots of foam rolling, pigeon pose and general stretching seemed to ease the immediate pain of it. It doesn’t hurt too much when I run, but it can get achy and feel weak as the miles get longer.
The answer to the big questions in running is the same as the answer to the big questions in life: do the best with what you’ve got.
I felt worried about the long run on Sunday. I don’t usually lack the motivation to keep going once I am going, especially in a group, but there are times when I don’t want to start. Today’s run was longer than we have gone and it seemed long. Not long in mileage, but in time on my legs and my legs have not felt great lately. I have run longer than this run before, so I know I am capable of it. As we neared a turn we realized we were about 10 km from our start. “Almost home.” It’s curious how perspective changes when you run a longer distance. Then those 10 km stretched out long and slow.
My legs hurt, my knees hurt, and my stomach was cramping. I have been experimenting with nutrition as I run (gels and Sharkies, etc) and I think I’ve got the brand of gels figured out, but the rest causes my stomach to churn. So the last few kilometers stretched out longer than the rest and I battled with my mind convincing my stomach that things were okay and I would make it home. I thought about the (real) endurance athletes who run 50k or 50 miles and beyond, and how their stomachs probably don’t always feel great. So much of running is convincing your mind that you can keep going, as you can always keep going.
In the end, I find that the mental motivation and distraction of running with a group helps to finish what you start.
*Have you kept going when you thought you couldn’t? Do you prefer to run with others, or solo?