from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Monday, February 26, 2007

mile 16

I have always increased my mileage one mile at a time. If the most I had run before was eight miles, I increased to nine. After 14 (once) would come 15.

This is so slow. I feel as if for months I have been running in place. Furthermore, five loops around the Academy track is a perfect 16 miles.

The temperature was at freezing when I started. By the time I finished kids were running bare-chested. I still gave myself indiscriminate permission to walk, in deference to the groin-hip-sacrum area, where various parts of the mechanism still relate to each other as if they have been only recently fitted together. My splits were disheartening, so after two rounds I gave up on timing myself. I did not look at the watch anymore, but I saw the sun shifting, the shadows shrinking.

After three loops I had enough, but I had planned for five and done four the week before, so I felt obliged to engage on the fourth. After four loops I had more than enough, but there were still five on the schedule, and only one more to go. So I sighed and started crawling again.

16 miles. 3 h 18 minutes. In the simplistic vein I have adopted from the beginning to rationalize the incomprehensibility of these distances, I am telling myself: only ten more to go.

Seriously, that first day a year ago, when - panting and clueless - I finished my very first mile, that's what I told myself: only 25 more to go.

14 Comments:

At 9:01 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

On my run just yesterday, I found myself forcing myself to keep going because of what was on the schedule. I can't explain it, it must just be the obessive thing I guess.
I think the "just ____ more to go" is a good way to look at it. Often the only way, too.

 
At 5:56 PM, Blogger Journey to a Centum said...

Stay on your countdown! Do you have a running buddy that you can run with? It sure makes those long miles go faster when you have someone to talk to. Make sure you are fueling and drinking properly during your run. I'm guessing you are running out of energy before you are reaching the limits of your fitness. I just tried Cliff Blocks on my run this weekend. They are kind of like finger jello but they are an easy source of fuel for your run. Do you run with a water bottle? If not you should get one or have one handy at the end of each lap around the accadamy.

Enjoy your runs!

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Bre said...

That's really and truly amazing, I have to tell you! Well done! We're cheering you on for the next 10!

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Backofpack said...

Awesome Lia! You are doing great. I know it's hard, but the slow build up is the best. You've heard of the 10% rule, right? You could increase your long run by 10% each time - which would move it along a little faster. So now you've done 16? Next week go 17.6, then 19.4, etc. You'll be there soon! Also, don't forget to take a cut-back week every now and then (like every 3rd week). It helps prevent injury and gives you a physical and mental rest.

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Great job! You'll get there. One mile at a time. And it will be here before you know it. YAY FOR YOU!!!!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

btw, thanks to telling me that you've seen hands-free leashes in use. I've spent the past hour or so looking up different options on the internet. So many choices! But now I know they make what I'm thinking of and just need to figure out which one to get. YAY!!

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Great job - only 10 more miles - you can now see the finish line.

Michelle's got a good point about the 10% rule - I always stay within it - it seems to work well.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Black Knight said...

To increase the mileage one mile at a time is the perfect tactic. I never succeeded in following such schedule! It means that you are smart and able to follow seriously a program.

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger Kurt in Boston said...

16 miles is great! I remember the first time I did 14. I told myself "I don't know how I'm going to do 26, but I can do 16 next time". [And these comments are right, back off every 3 weeks or you'll burn out.]

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

Congratulations what a nice milestone, enjoy the moment. Take it in strides! You'll get there!

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous ali said...

Congratulations! Especially doing loops ... they tend to make me loopy

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Steve said...

16 miles....you're in the big leagues now and getting close to the point of No return.

Great Job Lia!

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger egan said...

You've made some huge strides considering you just started last year. Kudos to you.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I remember, like some of the others have responded as well, saying to myself, "I don't know how I am going to run another...miles." I think your approach is much healthier. Only 10 more to go and I have no doubt you will get there.

 

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