October is a busy month for me, so I know that I’m not going to be completing every single run that’s on my training plan. And I know that I’m not planning on running the entire half marathon (yes, I will be stopping to take photos the whole time), so it’s okay that I walk a bit on my long runs. Still, these things frustrate me.
My first run this week was on Tuesday. This was the first week that my weekday runs went up to 3.5 miles. I headed out to the greenway right after work (and when I finished, the sun was setting, thus reminding me that I’m going to be embracing the treadmill for these runs in a couple weeks). I ran steady but probably too fast for the first mile, but the whole time my mind was telling me I was tired and that I should walk. Sometimes I hate what a mind game running is! So I gave in on the second mile and walked most of the uphills. In fact, I was probably walking more than running for that mile.
At some point in the third mile, I decided to try a technique that I had read in my latest library book, “The Runner’s Guide to Yoga”. It discusses using meditation as you run, either by dedications or counting. It says,
You can also use the motion of running as a count of its own. Count your steps to 10 over and over or count down from 50…Or use a mantra, syncing it with the sound of your footfalls and breath.
I started counting up to 50, syncing with my breaths: odd numbers on exhales and even numbers on inhales. When I reached 50, I would evaluate how I felt and either walk or start over from 1. This helped greatly in taking my thoughts out of that “this sucks” mindset. I would usually do two sets of 50 counts, then walk for a count of 25. This helped me finish out the 3.5 miles without being completely grumpy.
The next day, psyched about how much the meditation actually helped, set out for my two mile run. I went ahead and just started with the meditation, not even waiting for my brain to go off track. This was a bad idea. I got really, really tired of counting to 50, so that keeping myself counting in itself became a mind game. Despite that I know I can run two miles straight with no problems, I ended up walking twice: once at the halfway point and then again a couple of minutes later.
Thursday and Friday were both out for running, since I went to concerts both nights. Then Saturday, I was second shooting a wedding and was gone from 10am to 11pm. With all that going on, I didn’t have time to fit in my other 3.5 mile run. (I considered doing it one morning, but I knew I was going to be on my feet a lot already, so just decided to forgo it.) I was a little scared then for my long run on Sunday, after having been on my feet for 12 hours the day before and standing at concerts the previous two nights. I set out on my 4.5 mile with some apprehension.
I made it through the first two miles with no walking with a little help from meditation. By that point, I was on an enormous uphill road. I ended up walking half a mile up that hill. And then something wonderful happened. It started to rain. I started to run and ran the last two miles with only one brief uphill walking break. I love rain! It also reminds me that I need to get a hat because sweat + rain = eyes burning.
This week is a recovery week, which I definitely am excited about. I have two more concerts this week, a wedding, and then the Color Run on Sunday!