The running workouts are consistent and getting longer these days as I prepare for that Buffalo marathon experience next month.
Which also means my sense of panic is setting in pretty quickly at times.
Like on yesterday's 50-minute easy-paced run.
I both love and hate easy pace. By it's name, these runs are slow and steady and building up that important endurance base. These runs are the foundation of the running plan and ultimately the foundation of my race.
But they also are hard. Because nobody goes to a new house and says, "What a great foundation." No, usually, you fixate on the extras, the shinny things that catch your attention. The accessories that make the space look nice but really have nothing to do with weather the abode is structurally sound.
But we like shinny things. Even if we try not to, we like them. And so, while running easy pace, I often catch myself sighing. If I run like this, I will never finish the marathon. This is my easy pace and I'm kinda starting to feel fatigued already. What's up with that? This is my easy pace and my friends are running at least a minute faster than I am routinely.
Reminder No. 1: Stop comparing myself to other runners. I have a different plan. Doesn't mean it's better. Doesn't mean it's worse. Means it's different. And it's MY plan. A plan I trust. A plan I know will get me not only to the start line but through the finish line. And I have a different goal. Why on earth would I compare my training for 26.2 miles to my friends who are training for 13.1 miles?
Reminder No. 2: I hate the first 20 minutes. Doesn't matter if I'm running 30 minutes, 50 minutes or two hours. Those first 20 minutes of running are 20 minutes of crud. Doesn't matter if I'm running slow or fast. It takes me about that much time to get into my body, to get out of my head, and to get into my flow.
Which, once I remembered my rule about not judging a run by the first 20 minutes, I had a pretty good session. It was cool, but not too bad. The sun was out. The sky was blue. I was relaxed.
Ah. All was right with the world.
Granted I still have my total panic moments. Even when thinking about tomorrow's half marathon run at Mendon Ponds Park, which features a hilly course. I start to do math in my head which is never a good sign. It either means I'm thinking too much or I'm about to bonk.
Considering I just had breakfast, bonking is not the issue.
Staying wrapped up in my over-thinking head is.
But if I just relax and look around and remember it all gets better after the first 20 minutes, I'll be just fine.