It is really cold out today and I think that I would rather write about running than actually run...
Last weekend, a 20 mile run was a real challenge for me. I let myself dwell in the pain cave for a long, long time. I couldn't keep up with my companions (except when I got a little canine assistance), and I felt embarrassed and disheartened. After the run I was really sick for a long while. It was a major bummer.
Then I started to get perspective... I ran 20, fairly hilly miles at 5000 feet elevation, in full winter gear with a hydration pack during a 50 mile week. When I calculated my pace including stops, my pace was only slightly slower than my pace for my one-and-only flat, sea-level marathon. Whoa. Maybe I am getting better! Oh, and the people I couldn't keep up with... well, not only have they completed numerous marathons, but they have all qualified for, and run, the Boston Marathon.
At the end of last week, I was tired... really, really tired. After more than a month of streaking and steadily increasing mileage, adding more speed work, hill work and weightlifting, I was at a low point and had to put some energy into maintaining perspective. This is hard. Running every day is hard. Running 20 miles at a time is hard. Running 50 miles a week, despite being entry-level mileage for my friends, is hard! I am struggling because this is simply hard... but totally worth it.