There are just under four weeks until Thanksgiving. For those of you keeping track at home, that means that I only have about nine more practice runs left before I try to schlub my way through a 10k.
For a long, long time, I have set a goal for myself to run three times a week. In my mind I have run three times a week, even if I have never been able to manage it. Last week I actually did it for the first in .... ever. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday -- woot woot! I have time on the weekdays to do about 40 minutes total, so I can get about three miles and a stretch in before needing to shower and get ready for work. On Saturdays, in my mind at least, I have time for my weekly "long" run. That's supposed to be 20% more than your usual/standard run, so I guess I only need to do not quite four miles (is that math right?). But there's that part of me, that really annoying nagging part of my mind, that keeps saying, "You have to be ready to do six miles. Six miles. Six. Miles. Ten kilometers. Thanksgiving. Six miles. Thanksgiving day. Mmmmm, pie." Okay, that last part isn't annoying -- it's the other parts that keep reminding the rest of me that I've not run more than five miles, and how am I supposed to do six? On Thanksgiving day? mmmm, pie.
You can see why I have issues. Clearly I am more motivated by pie than actually completing the full 10k.
Anyway. Last week I ran three days, and this week I did too! I didn't know if I'd be able to do it. Two weeks ago Saturday, the day that is supposed to be the "distance" run, I got about two and a half miles and just...stopped. I was done. The problem was that I was not close to home. I figured I'd be okay after a break, but when I started trying to move my legs again, they felt leaden. Or at least very heavy.
That was not a good day. And I despaired being ready for a 10k.
This week, I got three runs in again! Woot! Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday again. I only did about four and a half miles today, and my time certainly is not fast, but I did it, and that's what matters. After all, four and a half miles is only a mile and a half shy of six. I'm two-thirds of the way there. Hey! More than two-thirds!
I started reading a new running book, then leant it to a friend before I could finish it, but one of the things the author encourages is that instead of thinking of these regular runs as "training" runs, to classify them as "practice" runs instead. His reasoning is that since he's teaching a form that could be different and take some time to re-train your body to do, that you should think of it as practicing instead of training.
I like that. It makes the whole "I'm gonna run a 10k on Thanksgiving day" thing less intimidating. Instead, I'm just practicing. Just like I used to practice the piano, or guitar, or go to volleyball practice. I'm practicing running.
Still on track to for Thanksgiving, then.
Running AND pie.