As I walked out the door tonight I was hit in the face by a wall of 85 F (30 C) degree air as thick as swamp water. I’ve run in worse, though it was enough to make me balk a little. But… the run had to happen and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like nature get in my way. I jammed my headphones in my ears and started my warm up walk. I was feeling pretty good despite the conditions. I knew it was gonna be a good one.
The first few run intervals were almost too easy. I thought that maybe I should push harder, but the reason I waited until this evening to run was that I had some mild shin pain this morning and I decided to wait until tonight so I could massage it and ice it and get it to optimal condition before I ran. The pain was gone by mid-afternoon, but I wasn’t about to push hard enough to bring it hurtling right back. I just kept a comfortable pace and trucked on through. It wasn’t until the final minute of the last run interval (3 minutes) that I started to really feel fatigue and the effects of the heat. I don’t really even know if it was fatigue. It may have been the thick air and heat I was thinking about psyching me out. I’ll have to remember to keep my mind off that next time. it did feel a bit harder to breathe at the end, though, and I think that’s what caused it to feel difficult. I still pushed through because I knew I wasn’t trying to do anything I wasn’t capable of.
It was tonight that I realized that if I’m going to run a marathon after letting myself get so incredibly out of shape, I’m going to have to bring back a mindset that I haven’t been familiar with in a long, long time. I’m going to have to be able to push myself without thinking too much about it while also being mindful of what my body is telling me so I don’t end up hurting myself. It’s a tough balance to achieve, but it does get easier with experience and conditioning, both mental and physical. Apparently, my body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise. Tonight, instead of saying to myself “You can do this”, I adopted an attitude of “It’s ridiculous to think that you’re not capable of doing this.” I know it doesn’t sound like there’s much of a difference, but it really is coming at things from the other side of the difficulty. I remember that mindset from all the years I did run and workout and it’s nice to feel it again. I know I’m stronger already.
Tonight made me feel like I’m locked in and ready for this long haul. Tonight felt like the true beginning. I’m going to run that damn marathon and I’m going to do it in under 4 hours and that’s that. Bring it on you 26 mile bitch!