This morning I ran 10 miles, without stopping, all by myself!
I got up around 7 a.m. and started slowing eating breakfast (a whole wheat pita with a little almond butter and half a sliced banana) and getting ready for my scheduled 10 miler with my training buddy Ashley.
Then… disaster struck!!! I received a text from Ashley that she was sick and wouldn’t be able to come run today.
Oh no… 10 miles… by MYSELF?!?! I think the farthest I’d ever run by myself was about 7 miles, and the past few long training runs have had me wondering if I’d lost my running mojo:
- Last weekend, I ran 7 miles in Austin with my friend Turner, but we had to stop a bunch of times for bathroom breaks b/c my stomach was upset 🙁
- The weekend before, Ashley and I ran 10 miles, but it was crazing hot and humid, so we took a bunch of walking breaks and the run was generally complete torture.
- The weekend before that, Ashley and I ran 8 miles in a good time, but we again took a few (untimed) walking breaks and I was feeling really tired for most of it.
Yikes! I decided to turn to Twitter for some motivation:
Aren’t they sweet? I was feeling more confident already!
I decided to focus on the power of positive thinking. I decided that if I told myself this would be an awesome run, and talked myself up the whole time, it WOULD be an awesome run. This was an opportunity to get outside, enjoy the weather and a beautiful trail, not worry about homework or regular work, and just RUN! And I would ROCK it. Right?! 🙂
I started by dusting off my iPod and bringing it along for the ride, packed with some of my favorite old school tunes. I decided this 10 miles by myself would be my time to ROCK OUT to my favorite music. 🙂 I hadn’t used my iPod in MONTHS!
I also brought along my CamelBak! I LOVEEEEE having water on long runs. Totally don’t even notice I’m wearing this thing!
(Side note — for those of you that have CamelBaks, how do you clean/store it so it doesn’t get all gross and moldy with the water in the tube, etc?)
And then I was off! I headed down to my favorite trail. It was a beautiful morning — in the high 60s/low 70s and not humid, thankfully!
I continued to talk myself up — it was a beautiful morning, and I was out enjoying the sunshine. No homework, no computer… just me. 🙂 This was awesome!
I also decided that I was going to run this whole 10 miles without stopping. Given the past few long runs, I was starting to lose confidence in my ability to run a long distance without a break! My dad (who is a great runner — remember my speedy and awesome Paradise 8 Miler with him?) commented that looking at my recent long run splits, I was probably going out too fast, therefore getting burned out by the end of the run. I decided I would focus on maintaining a steady, manageable pace the whole time, reining in my speed at the beginning, in particular.
Well, guess what — the positive thinking WORKED! Anytime I started feeling tired, I just started thinking things like, “This is SO great — it’s a beautiful morning and I’m out running 10 miles, all by myself, and oh yeah — I can run 10 miles! Holy crap, that’s awesome!” The music also really helped, and so did focusing on pacing myself! I also love waving and smiling or giving thumbs up to other runners as they go by. It always boosts my spirits, and hopefully theirs 🙂
I finished the 10 miles in 1:30:50, for an average pace of 9:05. No stopping or walking, not even at the turnaround points. Woohoo!
- Mile 1: 8:44
- Mile 2: 8:57
- Mile 3: 8:57
- Mile 4: 9:14 (turning around/hills)
- Mile 5: 9:08
- Mile 6: 9:09
- Mile 7: 9:07
- Mile 8: 9:13
- Mile 9: 9:23 (turning around again)
- Mile 10: 8:59
I was really pleased with my pacing — especially that I was still able to squeak back under 9 minutes for the last mile. Woohoo! I’m proud of myself 🙂
Have you ever tried the power of positive thinking during a challenging workout? Did it work?
If you’ve never tried it and you’ve been struggling recently with your workouts, that’s your homework! Next time you’re starting to feel discouraged during a hard work out, start thinking as positively as you can. Before long, you’ll start believing it 🙂