Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The long run

Trying to stay vigilant with a weekly long run. Ran a half marathon this morning... first part of which was on the roads as I ran to the North End of Carolina Beach... then looped back around Snow's Cut Bridge and caught the trails by the Wildlife Boat Launch. Followed a narrow trail along the Intracoastal Waterway then merged with the State Park trail system. Been re -discovering the trails along the waterway the past few weeks... hadn't run them much over the course of the last few years (no particular reason). At a few points one has to be a bit more careful as a misstep could lead to a tumble down a steep sandy root strewn embankment and a roll into the water.

Sometimes I see egrets and herons perched on snags and downed trees that jut out into the gentle flowing waters. Or I catch site of a fisherman in a small boat.

Averaged a mid eight minute per mile pace sort of loping along and knocking out the miles. I tend to struggle a bit mentally on longer runs accumulating the mileage...or maybe more so just filling in the spaces in time that it takes to put down ten, fifteen, twenty miles. Physically its somewhat easier to deal with the increased fatigue and soreness in my legs, as well as in the upper body such as the neck and shoulders. But I tend to feel better as I get more and more of it knocked out especially as I get on the back side and in the last quarter of what I'm planning to do miles or time wise on a longer run.

Though there are those days when the miles and the time slip by almost imperceptibly like I'm floating through a pleasant dream in the midst of a deep slumber.  Or like sitting comfortably in church as the preacher weaves thru his Sunday sermon and the voices of the choir fill the room with lilting melodies from well worn hymns.

But also I ultimately appreciate finishing longer runs because they do require a bit of extra work not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

A good friend once told me to work on my weaknesses. And in due time they can become strengths. Or if nothing else we fear attacking them a bit less than we did the week, month, or year before.