I have developed a whole new deep respect for all those who run halves and full marathons as of today!  I’ve always known those races required a completely different level of mental strength and determination, but WOW I had never thought about just how much!  Don’t get me wrong, marathoners motivate me and already have my respect!

What prompted this post?  Well, I have been increasing my mileage on my runs a little bit here and there.  Last week, I did 8 miles and I thought that if I could do 8, surely, I could manage 10!  Bwaa, haa, haa!  Yeah, right.

Today, my husband and I got up, got dressed and headed out to do our 10 miles.  It was hotter than it had been, but still not humid or too hot.  I barely made it!  It was going great, then we turned around (yes, one of those dreaded out & back runs) and, of course, we were running into the wind. By mile 7, I was already hurting and had to really work to keep from stopping.  I kept pushing myself using little mantras in my head like “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar!” (Thank you Serenity!)  Later, it was “Every step forward is a step closer!”  By mile 9, neither of these were working any more and my HR was creeping up.  I was ready to cry!  My chest hurt, my legs were achy, and my right shoulder was pinching. We were hitting that point in the path that gradually increases uphill until the steep (short, but steep) hill starts. HR hit 182 and I knew I had to get it down, so I slowed to a walk until it came down to 175 and started running again, albeit slowly. I had to slow one more time and finished it out at a run.

I ran 10 miles – almost! We still had another mile home. I waved my husband on and walked the rest. By then, my legs were so tight and I still would have had one more hill up and I knew I couldn’t do it. I had no energy left!

Kudos to all those who can go the distance!  I think I will stay with 10K races and keep my mileage around 8 miles for my “long” runs for a while!