17 miles was on my mind this Sunday, a bit early in the year for that milestone but I just had a feeling this time. Staying up Saturday night playing video games didn’t help though; 6 hours sleep just ain’t enough. I wasn’t feeling my best throughout the run, even took a 30 second walk break at mile 3, that’s not good. I decided to run the route from last week for the first hour, and didn’t plan on getting lost this time; you can’t get lost in the same place twice. 17 was the goal this time, so I chose to run farther out such that the route would be a mile longer than last time with no opportunity of shortcuts, just in case my mind tries to convince me to settle for 16 again.
Around mile 7 or 8 my 8-9 min/mile pace turned into 10-11 min/mile pace due to the excessive walking breaks I was taking each mile. Where the hell was my power, my rage, my chi? Oh wait, I forgot the carbs! During the last few miles, I was truly exhausted, but had to go on. It truly has gotten to the point where the training is more of a mental thing.
During my final miles, my mind became louder than my Ipod shuffle. My mind shouts, “no pain, no pain, cmon, don’t stop, you must, you must, cmonnnn, be strong, fight, fiiiight”. I often imagine that I’m some ancient warrior running through the woods to rescue his tribe and can’t slow down or else they will die. Sometimes, I imagine that the world will explode if I don’t complete my mileage goal. Even better, for maximizing speed on downhills, I’ve imagined that a volcano exploded behind me and I have to outrun the lava spill. My favorite is when I imagine that I’m in a slow car just cruising down the street. Yea, kinda weird, but whatever works right, and I did make it home with my record distance and really sore leg muscles. 2000 calories burned, a day’s worth of food to make up. And you know what, 17 miles is just approximately a 2/3 marathon distance, awesome.
17 miles down, time to rest now…