Becoming a Long Distance Runner (Again)

>> Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, I ran my longest run since the 15K I completed when I was 20 weeks pregnant. By the way, I totally thought I was showing back then -- looking back at this photo, I had no idea how much I'd grow in the next 18 weeks.

I'm pretty sure my gut sticks out farther than this now:

[[[ End of pregnancy flashback. ]]]

Anyway, I entered the double digits, too! 10 miles exactly, and I enjoyed each and every stride. Today, I feel great!


Truth time? This long run d.e.f.i.n.i.t.e.l.y taught me something, and it was certainly the most physically demanding thing I've done since giving birth. Today, I am feeling it. Soreness city.

I had an hour and a half alone, which is rare. And hour and a half to think back to when I trained for my last marathon. When I completed a couple weeks made up of two 5-milers, two 10-milers, a 22-miler. Wow I'm a long way away from doing that ever again.

Three hours of running? It sounds insane to me.

What this long run taught me is patience. Though I ran through much of my pregnancy, I am super far away from being in the kind of shape I was in a year ago. And that's OK with me. My mind hasn't quite caught up to this fact, however. In my head, I still think -- in an almost cocky way -- that 10 miles is relatively easy. Then I read back through my old posts. I find myself sounding totally obnoxious, writing about completing an "easy 10-miler" or similar distance.

At some point this afternoon, my mind and body connected: Easy? Please! I can hardly walk today!

Then I decided to cut myself some slack. Pain or no pain, I'm psyched for the half marathon in May. And in a way, I'm excited to embark on the training journey again. It's evident reading through my training journal that I took being in year-round half marathon shape for granted. Now, I feel like a novice again, starting from scratch, which is sort of cool and frustrating all at the same time.

I guess I just wanted to share. Have any of you ever come back to running after a long injury, pregnancy, or other hiatus? How did you deal with the mind/body disconnect?

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