Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Longest Run to Date

Saturday morning I woke up gearing for my "long run."  Since I have started to feel better during my second trimester, Saturday has been my "long run" day.  The definition of long run is pretty relative these days.  The run is generally longer than my run or runs during the week and I get to hit the trail because I have more time on the weekends, so to me that is still a long run and it is generally 4-5 miles.

This past Saturday, Aaron and I headed out with our sights on 5 miles, but in all honesty, it did not look promising in the least.  We got to the trail late and it was hot and humid.  I was generally in a pissed off and defeated mood over silly things - can I blame hormones please? Well, I am going to. Also, I had awful heartburn, which does not make running any fun.  As soon as we started out, my poor mood and the heartburn came up with a vengeance.  I kept telling Aaron to leave me and to complete his goal as I literally shuffled along but he insisted on hanging in there with me (what a good guy) and even being willing to take a stretching break after mile 1 to deal with my massive calf cramps.

I pretty much looked like this just slower and bigger and angrier 

Honestly, I thought about just giving up, but the truth is I really did not want too. I was not feeling great but I was not feeling sick or having any worrisome symptoms that would have caused me to stop then and there.  More likely, and I kind of knew it then too, my attitude was getting in the way.  I was not focused on the present gift of enjoying a run with my husband but looking forward to a day that I was not too excited about full of errands and other things I did not want to do.  But somewhere around Mile 2.50, I told myself to stop with this very childish pitty party.  To be happy to be outside, to be running, to be enjoying time with my husband.  I don't know if it was this little pep talk or the fact that around Mile 2.75 we turned around and were greeted with a huge reprieve of a slowly declining trail for a Mile 1.5, but I began to feel AMAZING!  The run felt "easy" and I felt good doing it.  I felt like I could run forever.

At Mile 4, I told Aaron that I was going to go for 6 miles.  I have not done 6 miles since I think ummm February and it sounded so enticing.  I was energized and ready to go.  At Mile 5 I thought, I could do 7!  So at mile 5, I waved goodbye to Aaron (so he could cool-down before going to his all day hockey tournament) and told him I would be back in a few minutes.  And then I was off - still happy, still feeling strong.  I knew Robin was out on the trail running a speedy long run and kept envisioning seeing her on the way, my guess was she was almost done and I could not wait to exclaim how great I felt.  Luck was on my side, because at about Mile 6 there she was.  I waved at her and she told me she had two minutes and would come back for me :).

Robin caught back up to me a few minutes later to run one last mile with me to round out about 7.25 miles for me and 12 very speedy miles for her.  I could not have been happier, not only did I take a negative attitude and what could have been an awful run and turned it into my longest run since February but also got to run with two of my favorite people.

Two thumbs up for running

As I have been running and exercising during pregnancy, I really have no plan.  When I start each day, I am not really sure what it will hold and what I intend to do.  I may think generally, oh I want to do 3 miles or half hour on the elliptical, but I never know.  I just go with how I feel.  For someone who has been so structured for so long this is quite the change.  At some points, it is completely refreshing.  It is good to take a break, to relax a little bit, to let your body rest as well as challenge your body when it lets you.  And other times, I just want to get back that wonderful training schedule - to have a specific goal for each day getting me closer to a race.  To feel on top of the world after a run.  Saturday's run felt like I was on top of the world.  I felt strong, I felt good.  It was nice to have that feeling and be so empowered.

Pregnancy is hard stuff.  Running at any length or even just getting through your day during pregnancy is hard stuff.  I know not every run ca be like this.  I know I have to continue to just listen to my body and take each moment as it comes. Runs like Saturday are a gift to me during pregnancy and I soaked up every minute.   I changed my attitude and I enjoyed the benefits.  I would like to say there will be many more to come, but I just don't know.  For now, I will be content to not know and continue to just go with the flow.

A good run sets up for a good day to come!
How do you change your attitude during an especially hard run?  Do you ever take time off of your training season for whatever reason (pregnancy or not), how does your relationship with running change?

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