When you have a goal of running distance events you have to have miles under your belt. You have to have days that your lone focus is to go out and put the miles on the legs and lungs. Time is really not even a factor it is more important to cover distance. Today was one of those days.
Here is the difference for me, my goal is to run distance through the mountains, not the flats. I am less concerned with running a marathon and more interested in running in trail based races, especially if I get back on the bike and plan to do adventure races.
So, that means I have to get my miles in each week and I have to have 1 long run that has hills and 1 day where I do hill repeats.
Now, I have done this before when I was adventure racing and I remember how grueling these can be. I know I am wiser and more well versed on training this time around but that does not make things easier, per se.
So, today I wanted to run a path that covered 7.7 miles and I knew would take about 75 minutes if I just focused on moving at a moderate pace (this is the case when you do distance runs...you slow down purposely). I was right on the money in fact which was great, but truly did not matter since my goal was to get out and run the route regardless of time.
After a 2 mile run with about a 300 foot elevation increase I hit the first of my hills, the Stanford Dish which is a 3.7 mile loop that climbs up, then rolls, climbs up again, rolls and then comes down...if you break to the right which is what I did. Going to the right is a much harder loop with more ups and downs of varying lengths.
So, here is an important point. At some point when running hills your mind turns on and says not to do it, that you can always go the other way, the flat way, that you can take the easier route. And, believe me you convince yourself that your mind is indeed right and you should listen and then you start to ponder and you start to doubt, question, think, analyze and go a bit crazy at which point you have to take a deep breathe and regroup, refocus and make the right decision, stick with the plan and tell your mind to shut the f*ck up! Do not think for a second that your mind does not fight back but you just tell it to be quiet and you run the hills, taking the route you had planned. The mind will try to play tricks on you, be aware of this fact and then you will be able to adapt and overcome doing the right thing!
7.7 miles, some real good hills and a nice cruise to finish.
Tomorrow I have another long run, flat emphasis and just more mileage to add. It gets easier every time.