Waking up on Sunday, I was so tired that the only thing that made me happy about the upcoming long run was the lack of smog. My legs were shredded after the whole week of intense training. I wasn’t sure going out there for 13 miles was an altogether good idea. Putting on my gear, I figured I would pick a route that allows me to go home after eight or 10 miles. Thus despondent I went out for the supposedly nicest run of the week.
Long Miles Ahead
I was dying physically and mentally after a mere five miles. I knew I had been pushing it too hard recently. On Friday, I ran a Virtual Koala Run to support animals suffering from bushfires in Australia. But instead of just going out there and complete the run, I did a full-blown 5K, beating my current PB by almost 30 seconds… I should have let my body recover succinctly after that feat but well…
And so I was, trudging along, feeling none of the usual excitement about the time alone in nature and all that metaphysical stuff. I was just doing the distance. Early on, I had decided to let go off the idea to run the last five miles at marathon pace. Considering how difficult running easy was letting go seemed a wise thing to do.
After 11 miles, I felt something stir in my gut (no, it wasn’t a bowel movement). It was a sudden itch to tack two faster miles to the end of the long run. I increased the pace tentatively, waiting for my body to protest. But nothing of the sort happened. In fact, as I picked up the pace, I felt wonderful and fresh. Maybe speed was what I actually needed to feel better? I don’t know, but I flew over the asphalt with renewed energy and a deep sense of purpose in my stride.
Marathon pace soon started coming very close to threshold pace, and I still felt fresh and bouncy. In the end, instead of doing two miles, I did almost three, the last one practically at threshold pace. And honestly, I could go on like that for at least a few miles more.
Waffles Here I Come
I jogged the last few yards with a wholesome feeling budding inside me. I had left home tired and resigned only to experience a complete transformation less than two hours later. Even though my legs pulsed with the beating they had just received, my stomach was growling pleasantly at the thought of waffles with berries waiting for me. Sunday long runs are indeed the best 😀
The only thing I was worried about was compounding fatigue—there had been far too much exertion last week. But it was worth it. It always is.
Summary of the run: 14.125 miles in 1h58m.