With today heating up, I am glad I was able to get today’s run while it was still bearable outside. The run was mostly in the neighborhood and partly on the Greenway Trail. It was 9.65 miles in 1:22:59.
With almost an hour and a half to think about things during my run, plenty of thoughts went through my head. Three main groups of thoughts have stayed with me after the run. The first was how important (and sometimes difficult) it is to control your pace. Especially when the miles start stacking up while building your base, it is often tempting to run all miles hard, but that’s a good path to injury on longer runs. Many times the distance and total time ran is more important than pace. As a race draws closer, that focus shifts, but I’m still too far out to make that shift yet.
The next group of thoughts included how impressed I have been with the stories friends have shared with me since starting this blog. I’m surprised by the number of friends that have discovered running recently. Several have run 5K races working towards 10K as an ultimate goal. Others have focused on longer distances such as half and full marathons. In fact, one friend just competed in the Oklahoma City marathon last weekend while another is preparing for the Big Sur half marathon in November. Hearing stories about early morning runs energizing the rest of the day as well as the races themselves helps me stay on track and motivated.
These thoughts quickly transitioned to my family support. My wife and kids are tremendously supportive and I hope they realize how much I appreciate the sacrifices my training presents for them. Questions about how far I ran for the day or when I plan to run (especially if it’s later in the day) help me stay accountable. Beyond them, my extended family also offers much-needed support.
As these thoughts developed, I realized that the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing is just a few months away. The thought almost took my breath away. Literally. Like a flood, the memories of my mom rushed through my head. I was left with an indescribable realization of her impact in my life. It sounds strange admitting this now, but it was at that moment that I decided to dedicate my training for the upcoming marathon in her memory. I became so caught up in the thought that I completely forgot my first group of thoughts and ran the next three miles about 45 seconds per mile faster than I planned.
If you have been following my blog closely, you might notice that I ran over a half mile longer than I planned. This was due to a miscalculation while I was running. I blame such math errors during runs on the lack of blood and oxygen to my brain. Oh well, at least this time I underestimated the length of the course. It’s much more demoralizing when I overestimate the distance and then have to add more distance to meet my goal. That extra distance always seems to be the hardest to handle.