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Split up mistake? Or not?

on April 10, 2011

Today I found myself doing something that I’ve never done before during a long run.  I split it up into two runs.  The point of a long run during training is to NOT break it up so that you build stamina and endurance.  It is the most important component of the training because doing the entire long run teaches the body to mentally and physically tackle the challenges of the actual marathon. 

I got up at 2:40 and headed down to Work-It-Circuit.  I was so tired…so sleepy.  Luckily, the movie Sleeping with the Enemy was on, so that helped.  But I was so sleepy that I felt like I could actually fall asleep running.  My foot was fine, my legs were fine, my breathing was fine…everything was going great except I was so sleepy.  I realized after two hours that this run was fruitless unless I got some sleep.   I was a little over halfway at that point and I decided to stop and go back to bed.  I slept so well and I haven’t slept IN in a long time.  When I woke up again, I felt much more rested.  I had some coffee, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, watched some TV, and then headed back and finished up.  The second time I went back, the last half of my run went so much better. 

My cousin Kean, who is a marathoner who made his own wonderful and inspiring goals after suffering a stroke, told me to just get through the long runs when I don’t feel up to it AND to use the training as guidelines and not get too caught up in being rigid.  So today, I didn’t gut out the long run, and I did use the training as a guideline.   I know it’s not the “right” way to do it, and hopefully it won’t hurt me in the long run (ha ha).  Part of me regrets not just hanging in there and finishing the first time, but the other part of me feels like it was the best decision to go home and sleep and start fresh.  Either way, I did get in the miles today and now I can re-focus to next week. 

I said before that a runner once told me that a person doesn’t know the kind of runner he or she is until that person has been running consistently for at least six years.  I’m still learning….I’m still growing….I’m still trying.   I think that in this training and more importantly, in life, that’s what it’s all about.


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