I had a 14 mile run yesterday, including hills, so I went back downtown where I went two weeks ago. Thankfully, I wasn’t grumpy this time; in fact, I have been in a pretty good mood despite having a cold and being very tired. It’s amazing the difference your mood can be when you look at things from the positive instead of negative. Really, I could have whined and complained (which I admit I did a little) the whole week but really, I was thankful my cold wasn’t worse and that it didn’t move into my lungs. I was really tired from the cold, from the race last week, from a lack of sleep, and from training in general. But I’m very thankful that I can run and train and that I have a family to take care of. The sun has come out this week too, so the seasonal depression seems to have lifted.
I grabbed some gloves before I left for my run and found that I did not grab mine. I had to chuckle a little bit, but I went ahead and wore them anyway; I mean, they’re gloves so why not? I’ll have to grab the Superman or Spiderman next time. Suppose people on the street would find it strange for a runner to be imaginary web-slinging? That would be good practice for running into spider webs in the summer and doing the ninja moves on them. I digress.
So random thoughts filled my head while I ran my 14 miles. Of course, my random thinking centered mostly on running. I thought about the race last weekend, about my friends running the full Quintiles Wrightsville Beach marathon in just a few weeks. I thought about Boston and how surreal the entire thing still is. Only EIGHT weeks – holy $shit! Then I thought it was funny that in this part of training, the buildup to a marathon, that many of us spew out mileages like it’s nothing. “Oh, I’m “only” running 14 this week.” “I have 18 easy miles this week.”. You know the speak. Once we get into the higher mileages, running 13 miles is almost like a walk in the park. Workouts below five miles are few and far between, and physically, it doesn’t seem like much of a workout. I wondered how many “half marathons” I’ve run. I mean, a half marathon is 13.1 miles, no matter how you look at it. It is what it is. I ran a half marathon yesterday and I’ll be running one every weekend until the end of
We run these long runs without any hoopla, without medals and t-shirts, without crowds, and without being able to say, “I ran a half marathon”. TECHNICALLY, I’ve run 9 half marathons, when in fact, I’ve run about a hundred of them. I can’t fathom how many other marathoners have done, especially ultra runners. It becomes just a long run to many of us, and we tick them off week by week, month by month. I’d be pretty cool to get a medal for each one, and I’d love to come home and have someone put a nice shiny medal around my neck, then feed me chocolate milk and oranges and say “great job”. Oh, and when we do full marathons, we would get a bonus medal for doing a double half. Ok, maybe that’s a little much, but I don’t think we should lose sight that we, in fact, ARE running half marathons all the time. It’s time to celebrate! Bring out your Flavor Flav during your next long run – put your arms up at that 13.1 “finish” line, just to celebrate another marker in your running career. Maybe, just maybe, when you get home, someone will be waiting with a medal, some oranges, and a pat on the back.