A couple of weeks ago I went for a 13 mile run and came back an hour and 46 min later having run 15….It was of course completely on accident and I paid for it. When I told my coach I accidentally ran 15 miles she gave me that yeah right look and said “how do you accidentally run 15 miles??” I guess reading this story you are probably thinking the same thing. I went out on a loop I mapped out on MapMyRun but somewhere along the way I made a wrong turn. I knew immediately my run would end up long but I anticipated 5 minutes…not 15. I was asked why I didn’t walk (I wish I had) but during the run I kept telling myself “It’s not that much further” and “don’t be lame, keep running.” Even when the 30mph gusts hit me straight on as I was running up a hill feeling like I could lie down that very moment, I kept running. My coach laughed when I told her the story and said “only 10k runners.” I realized that moment she was completely right.
We distance runners will put ourselves through whatever we have to in order to get where we are going, and I mean that literally and figuratively. We watch what and when we eat, which happens to be often. We have the tendency to get hangry (anger brought on hunger). We run through ice storms and will run 72 laps around an indoor track to get a 9 mile run in when we can’t run outside. We have to fight out obsessive compulsive nature to keep us sane when things don’t go as planned. We put our bodies through torture just to hit that perfect split at the end of a long interval workout. We do all of these things in the name of competition, in the name of perseverance, and most importantly, in the name of what it means to reach that next level. As Steve Prefontaine so perfectly said it “We run to see who has the most guts.”
Needless to say I came back from that 15 mile run ready to go to sleep at 5:30. I would have if I hadn’t picked up my tablet to work on customizing this very blog. I had also spent the last 45 minutes of my run thinking about the pizza I planned to make myself for dinner…
So worth it.