About 4 months ago, I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon. My legs were dead, my lungs were dead, my entire body ached worse than it had in my entire life. I was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment like I had never known before. People were everywhere cheering and congratulating. And I even go a medal!
Yesterday, for the first time since that fateful day, I ran another half marathon. Except this time there was no cheering and no medal. It was just the same as any other day where a long run was involved. Somehow 13 miles has gone from being the number I worked towards for months to just another distance that I am perfectly capable of running. It has been reduced from one of the most exciting things I have ever done to a boring treadmill run with bad Sunday TV. It was a challenging run and I probably could have run it faster, but speed was not my goal. My legs were a little tired, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Now I realize that the same fear that a 13 mile distance had once filled me with has now been replaced with a new number, 26. I can’t imagine running double the distance I did yesterday. A few more miles sure, but double? I know that is what a training program is for, to get you to that distance. Today starts week 5 of that program, and I have 13 weeks to go after this one. I have faith in myself that I will be able to do this, I just can’t visualize actually doing it.
For now I will focus on smaller goals, next weekend I run a 14 miler. That will be my longest distance ever, though it doesn’t fill me with the dread of 26, it’s still further than I’ve ever had to go before. Hopefully I will be able to run outside next week, I don’t think I can take another boring treadmill run.