I never thought I would say it but running five miles has become an “easy run.” It was just last month that I was watching the treadmill waiting for mile two to hit. I couldn’t wait to be finished and hated every second of the run. But, slowly my endurance got better and soon I was easily running 2.5 miles. A few weeks later I was at four and just last week I finished FIVE.
I was anxious to get to five miles. I have never run that far in my entire life. In fact, the most I had ever run was three miles and that was 15 years ago while in college. Even then it wasn’t easy. So to get to five miles in my 30’s makes me feel like I have really accomplished something. Furthermore, instead of agonizing about my run, now I look forward to it. I realized that in order for me to run the longer distances, I have to equally prepare my body and my mind. No more dreading the run; instead, I look forward to meeting my weekly goals. I say positive affirmations and remind myself of the great work I’ve done so far. I also update my progress on Twitter and follow other marathon runners in training. It helps me to read about their progress and how their training is going. The virtual dialogue definitely keeps me motivated as I continue on this journey.
In addition to getting my mind right, I also make sure that I set the right mood for my run. This means great music on my mp3 player (especially for those outdoor runs) or finding something entertaining to watch while I’m on the treadmill. There’s nothing like a good reality show full of drama to keep me distracted while I pound out my miles. This week I’m trying something a little different though. I downloaded a great self-help book that I will listen to for my longest run this week. I love self-help books but can never seem to read through the entire book unless it’s on audio. This book came so highly recommended that I’m saving it just for my next run—kind of like a treat for myself.
My next big milestone will be eight miles. Why eight? I’m really sure. It’s more than halfway there and very close to the “big 10”—the double digits. I may just throw myself a party at mile 10. Okay, a party may be a bit much pre-half-marathon, but it’s a fun thought. Hopefully by mile 10 I’ll be on to my next great book. Wish me luck!