"I would [run] 500 miles
And I would [run] 500 more
Just to be the man who [ran] a thousand
Miles to fall down at your door."
That's right, it's a day of celebration in the running portion of my household.
As of this morning, I have run over 1,000 miles this year, as hard as that is for even me to believe. I've been keeping a running total in my killer training spreadsheet, and this morning, I had to make one of the columns wider, much like the Cubs recently had to add a third digit to their "years since a world series" sign. Mine was much less sad.
I've worked hard for every one of those miles, and truly, none of them have simply come easy, but today's run was one of those rare occasions when I felt great beginning to end. I knew going down the hill that I was maybe pushing a little harder than usual, but after my incredibly slow run on Sunday (and my subsequent rest-instead-of-cross-training choice the next day), I wanted to really give my muscles a workout.
You see, I realized something in the aftermath of Sunday's disappointment. If I'm really bored during a long run, the best solution is actually to run it faster. The less time I have to think about how exhausted I should be, the less likely it is that I'll get tired of running mentally before my legs start to give out. And what's great about the next couple weeks is that I'll actually have a chance to test this theory out somewhat before I take it on the road for my 19-miler over Labor Day weekend.
This week, the mid-week runs bump up another mile (to 9), but the Sunday run drops to 12, giving a little respite before the really heavy miles begin next month, which is not to say I haven't been doing heavy miles so far. August will have been my highest-mileage month thus far by itself, which makes me more than a little scared about September being even more. I can't think about how much I've got left to go, though, or the monumental nature of it will completely overwhelm me. For now, I have to worry about - scratch that - think about tomorrow's run, which means a brand new course that I'll map out just minutes from now.
I look at the 1,000 miles in my rear view mirror and smile as they fade into my dust. The road ahead is long, but my best inspirations are the steps I've already taken.
80 Degrees / Before Sunrise
28 Minutes, 28 Seconds