when you run more than three miles…

Two years ago I was a new runner. I was struggling to run more than three miles and honestly never thought there was a good reason to ever run more than that. Unless of course I was being chased by a wild animal. Then something inside me clicked and when a distance challenge presented itself my type A, competitive personality latched on. And once I knew my body could run more than three miles… heck, more than 10 miles… a barrier that had previously intimidated me was broken.

I distinctly remember telling a friend of mine that fall of 2009 that running a race of 9+ miles was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. It didn’t sound fun at all. Then in the fall of 2010 I was running that race of 9+ miles. And a few months later I started training to run much, much farther.

During my marathon training I had days where I would flash back to my previous self and think it was indeed silly to run more than three miles. Yet on I pushed. I was running four times a week and my body was in a perpetual state of soreness or tightness or both.

And here’s the crazy thing – the whole point of this post – I liked it.

Now I’m training again for that silly 9+ mile race. I haven’t run more than three-five miles since marathon month so the past few weeks have been pushing my legs and feet and lungs. Every step I took yesterday had a distinct feel to it – the feel of legs that are being asked to do something beyond their initial comfort level. And last night as I was stretching and, I’ll admit it, wincing a bit I realized… I had missed this feeling. The tightness, the awareness of my leg muscles, the unusually sharp pangs of hunger on my long run days. It’s crazy.

To recap:

2009: told a friend she was insane to want to run a race that was 9+ miles
2010: ran that race on a sprained ankle and loved it
2011: training for that same race and will have three training runs at or beyond the distance

The moral of my story: when you run more than three miles, your body starts to like the pain.

Moral #2: runners are a little insane in the brain

This post is inspired by Heather of the EO’s idea to Just Write – a weekly exercise focused on free writing.

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10 thoughts on “when you run more than three miles…

  1. Or as we say in our house, “insane in the membrane” 🙂

    Runners are an interesting breed, that’s for sure. I’m hoping grit & determination have a bit to do with running more than a few miles too.

  2. This is so inspiring to me. For years I’ve been saying that I know there’s a runner in me somewhere. Some day…I’ll get around to finding her and maybe she’ll even run more than three miles 🙂

  3. I struggled on my four mile run today. I had a headache, the heat is stupid, and so on. I felt pretty miserable and my pace reflected it, but you know what? I’ll get back out there and do it again Thursday cuz yeah, we’re a little insane.

  4. Runners are definitely a little insane in the brain. I ran (on the treadmill) before I got pregnant with my first baby. Then after my second (2.5 years later)I decided to start running again. AHHH!! I thought I was going to die after a short run around the neigborhood.

  5. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your warm thoughts and prayers for my friend.
    I think you were meant to lead me to your blog tonight. I started running in Jan. 2010…I had never ran before unless you count gym class torture 25 years earlier! Ran my first 5K that March, next 5K that May, and 10 mile that August. It was so hard but I loved how it feeled! Then I allowed myself to let go of running….to stop believing in myself. Been away for a year.
    Scheduled to run a 5K on Thanksgiving and need to get running. Your post was so inspiring!! Tomorrow I shall run! Thanks~ 🙂

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