I'm pretty sure I've never mentioned on here that my minor in college was theater. I was in and directed a few one-act plays, had a small role in "Diary of Anne Frank" as Mr. Kraler and make a small "return" to theater five years ago in "Moon Over Buffalo" as Howard.
So what does this have to do with running? That answer is easy -- running is exactly like putting on a play. You go to rehearsal after rehearsal (run after run) to get to opening night (race day). Today was my first "official" long run for the Baltimore Marathon and it kind of felt like going off book for the first time in rehearsals. The ones where you have to stop and say "line" because you can't quite remember what you're supposed to do.
Pushing myself to 8 miles wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but whenever I felt like I was slowing way down or getting sluggish, I had to think about what's worked in the past 6 months. I called "line" and got back on track.
It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was a much better long run than I remember from last year. Great weather with lower humidity helped too. Overall, my run was under a 9-minute pace, easily 10-15 seconds faster per mile than these types of runs a year ago. I'm really like my new "slow" and "easy" feeling pace.
I have a lot more rehearsals to keep getting better. Next week will be a flat 10 miles in Ohio for my long run. Come opening night on Oct. 15, it should be second nature to go out and have a great marathon.