A 13.2-mile mental victory

In a couple of weeks, I'll be running my fifth half marathon, but it's only my third one that I've truly trained for. The other two were treated more along the lines of a long run and I never felt the urge to "race" them. One thing that's interesting in my training for the other two half marathons is that my long runs have never exceeded the distance of 13.1 miles. I didn't feel it was necessary if I had more semi-long runs during the week. In 2007, that worked for my first Shamrock Half. This past winter for the Shamrock ... I won't even get into that story again.

Today for my long run, my goal was simple -- run 13-plus miles. I wasn't going to worry about my pace or hitting various hills or doing anything weird -- and it turned into a great 13.2 miles. So much of running is overcoming the mental challenge, and it seems like long runs have always intimidated me for whatever reason. I either get too tired or hungry or have to go to the bathroom or it's too hot -- much of it has always been my mind getting the best of me and thinking about all those things too much. Today, I had none of that. I rarely looked at my watch -- I couldn't hardly believe myself when I looked down for the first time and I had gone almost 3 miles. It seems like I usually glance down at least once every mile, but today I really didn't pay much attention until I was close to being finished.

Today's run capped off an interesting week with my mileage. After adding a very little bit of biking twice this week, I only had three running days, at least in my mind. But after adding up some short, but speedy distances with my dog, I hit 26 miles for the week. It's my fourth consecutive 20-plus mile week following my tail bone injury; it's the third straight week of increasing my long run; and I have 62.8 miles for the month, putting me on pace to break 100 miles for August.

With two weeks to go the Rock 'n' Roll Half, next week is pretty much my "last chance" week. I'll probably include a good mix of workouts. The week of the race will be somewhat of a taper. My goal is to get in a couple of 4-5 mile runs, and a very short run the day before the race to help my body adjust to conditions at Virginia Beach.

Workouts since last post
Aug. 16: Walk - 1; Run - 0.3; mega house work (thus, no running)
Aug. 17: Walk - 1; Run - 13.2
Week totals: Walk - 6.5; Run - 26; Bike - 8.2; Times going into my attic on Saturday - way too many