So after taking a couple of weeks off in March to nurse my piriformis, hip and back, I am back at the training. This training cycle has been somewhat conservative. Taking the occasional second rest day and making it a weekly habit to cross train. My first two long runs I battled with stomach issues. I started to wonder if training would be rough this time around. I believe the culprit was that I OD on the morning coffee Drinking two cups of coffee is not ideal before a run.
Last Saturday’s long run had 8 miles on the schedule. Let’s just say that I had some anxiety the day before. I questioned whether I was eating enough food and hydrating. I debated in my head between five and eight miles. I wondered if my body would hold up. I haven’t been this nervous for a long run in ages. I slept terribly that night. Waking up on and off. My loud old school alarm clock, jolted me up at 5:20 am. It was way too early but I was ready to go. I ate my English Muffin with Almond Butter and half a cup of coffee. Got ready and was out the door. I was so anxious about the run, that I almost took the wrong exit off the freeway.
As I gathered with the group in SF, I realized that the eight mile route covered the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The first two miles were great. My legs felt strong. I was keeping a good pace. The climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza went well. Usually, I struggle with my breathing going up the hill but kept it slow and steady. This was the turn around point for the five miles. My mind was telling me to turn around but with a gentle nudge from others, I decided to keep on going. I downed some Honey Stinger Energy Chews during this time. As I approached the bridge, I kept an even pace and just enjoyed the views. It was early enough in the day that there was no need for dodging tourists. The bridge is always beautiful but on a sunny day she shines brighter than ever. My Garmin noted I was running a faster pace than I have recorded on my long runs in weeks. Score and a boost of confidence! It was a welcome sight to see my faster friends in the 9:00 pace group as I was reaching the turn around point. The return trip on the bridge was getting crowded as other groups were doing their long run. My legs started feeling some fatigue and cramping as I got off the bridge, so I slowed down the pace and kept telling myself, one foot after the other. I made my way through Crissy Field and back to the start. Eight miles boom!
It was a big boost of confidence to get back to the eight miles. My legs, hips and priformis all held up. My stomach didn’t disappoint. It’s good to push even though your mind tells you it can’t go. How else are you supposed to know how far you can go, if you don’t challenge yourself? Having anxiety is normal but being able to overcome it is even better.