After months of training, I've finally reached the taper. This means running less miles with less strenuous effort. Sounds good to me! Finding time to fit in the really long runs was growing old. So I headed outside yesterday afternoon, on a beautiful 83 degree October day, only to tank miserably! What I planned to be a longer easy run turned into a 4 mile struggle that couldn't end soon enough. I walked home feeling defeated, wondering if I really am ready to take on a marathon. If 4 miles was so difficult, how on earth did I expect to survive 26.2 miles? Lucky for me, the day was absolutely beautiful. A gift really! Weather like this in late October isn't really a thing here in the Northeast. I don't know if this is what it was or something else, but I realized, on my walk of shame home, that I could allow this run to ruin months of training, or I could use it to motivate me.
I chose the latter.
For the first time during this training cycle, I did a double workout. I enjoyed the evening with my kids, put them to bed, and headed to the basement to hit the treadmill. I worried that maybe I should have just called it a day, but as soon as I started running, I was glad I didn't. I ran 4 solid miles, pushing myself to run a pace that was challenging and slightly uncomfortable... and it felt great!
Lesson learned. We can't allow one negative moment or experience to define us. I was so down following my afternoon run. I felt doubt and entertained the idea that I haven't done enough preparation for my upcoming marathon. In perspective, I've probably been more faithful to my training program than most casual runners (which is what I consider myself to be). Yes, the last few weeks have been hard trying to fit in every training run, and I've had to make concessions. But I planned for that by being so diligent over the summer months. I am my harshest critic. Yesterday, to a fault... until I a made the decision to give it another shot. Sometimes that's all it takes!