No two runs are ever the same. And no run is ever “easy”. I was thinking about this today on my training run, which felt really good for the most part. It wasn’t easy, because it was pretty hot by the time I went out, but it was easier than other days have been lately. I decided at the beginning to just keep my mind in the moment, enjoy my surroundings and not think about the long list of things I have to do, especially with work.
I’m not sure if that made today’s run easier than other days last week, but let me tell you… Saturday’s long run was tough. Several of us on the OC team are in the advanced group, so we were scheduled to do 8 miles. Yes, I ran all 8, but only about the first 5 felt great. After that, we all felt it starting to heat up. This is why we meet at 7:00 am on Saturdays. In fact, as I mentioned before, this is probably why the park where we meet is packed before we even arrive.
Something that I kept telling myself on Saturday was that running is a very mental sport. Typically, if your mind is willing, your body will follow. This couldn’t be more true for me on most runs. I tend to be a very self-motivated person, and I usually don’t feel the need for any outside motivation when I’m working toward something. But the fact that we’re all running as a team to raise money to save animals from abuse and to relocate homeless animals makes it that much more motivating to get out there and get the job done.
Well, my mind was willing, but around mile 7, my body was tired. I made good time, but I’d really like to break my personal best of 1:51 in my half marathon this year, so we’ll see if I can get my mind in shape to keep up my speed to do that. As I said, each run is different from the last. Sometimes it’s hot, or extremely windy. Other times your legs just feel like lead. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep? Enough water? Who knows? I certainly take my rest days, but you often don’t know what to expect when you lace up your shoes and head out the door. The one thing that is always true… the feeling after a good run is always great.
After I finished my 8 miles, I knew I’d done what I showed up to do. I felt great, and I was ready to enjoy the rest of the day. Our coach was on vacation this past week, but 5 of us showed up, and we had a great time. This is such a fun group. Stay tuned for more updates and pet dedications coming up soon!