Ah, Sunday. Long runs. Dreaded and beloved in the same breath. No other day gives you a mix of trepidation and satisfaction in the long hours before and after the fact.
Sadly, these days, what qualifies as my long run is what would most would think of as warm up. Heck, even I would have thought so less than a year ago. But it’s okay. I’m just glad I’m able to, I guess. Still, you have that niggling question in the back of your head, how in the hell did I use to do this before?
I’m pretty sore from my efforts throughout the week. It’s not too bad, just a general ache and heaviness in my legs. So much so that I was glad to stay in a bit later this morning. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do my run early due to another errand. So I settled on later time.
The weather being what it is—somewhat cloudy, with chances of rain—a midday run is not a problem. I also have the option of doing my run on the treadmill. This week’s distance is short enough to do comfortably on the machine.
Through the week, with my runs mostly indoors, I’ve been having a hard time keeping the settings on a slow and steady pace. For one, it gets boring; for another, it’s a matter of pride to finish “better.” It’s a hard habit to break, especially for someone who has been in some form of athletic pursuit or other for most of my life. A certain competitiveness creeps in, even if it’s only with myself, and even when it’s very minor. The urge to push just a wee bit harder even when you know you shouldn’t or when it might be counterproductive can be hard to ignore. Then again, there are times when you know you just aren’t pushing hard enough.
For this Sunday’s run—it’s hard to even call it a long run, the distance being what it is—I just figured, if I want and expect to make any progress at all, I better take everything slow. A giant dose of humility and hard work never hurt anyone. I managed it. It was easier than expected but not by much. At this point, it is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one, but the physical end of it just registers a tad louder.
So it goes.
And so goes another week.
I have another Sunday to look forward to. By next Sunday, I’ll be able to add a couple of kilometers. Progress. I’ll get there.