The Century Mark

After many years of running I finally hit a pretty special milestone and everything about it is just so perfect.

I ran exactly 100 miles in the month of July. Not 99.99 miles or 100.2 miles, it was exactly 100 miles. No more, no less. This is a milestone that I had never set out to achieve  but seeing that number sure was nice.

That magic number also signals that what I had hoped to accomplish back in May has happened. I am running more consistently by choice. Yes, I’m training for another marathon but I don’t feel like I’m being held prisoner by the training plan. Which, to be honest, most of us have felt that way at one point or another while training for a long distance event.

This is a very steep/long hill. I thought I ran up it but according to my Garmin it was more like a steady crawl. (c) Stacey Cooper

This is a very steep/long hill. I thought I ran up it but according to my Garmin it was more like a steady crawl. (c) Stacey Cooper

But…(You knew this was coming.) My first few long runs this year were very challenging. There was the heat wave, getting up early to beat the heat, and lots of hills. I looked forward to each and every one of those runs I just couldn’t stop myself from trying to compare them to last year. Keep in mind the long runs don’t match up with last year’s plan so how can I compare them to anything!?!

Then last weekend I made it back to my beloved Hudson Greenway in NYC. There is just something incredibly special about running alongside the water and getting a chance to see some of the City’s hidden gems. And maybe just getting your head back in the right place.

This route, whether I head uptown towards the George Washington Bridge and the little red lighthouse or downtown towards Battery Park, just helps get me back on track. Yes, it’s mostly flat but when I need to make sure I’m running the correct pace or not get discouraged, this is the place for me. Needless to say my long run was near perfection.

But I just couldn’t stop myself from comparing everything to last year or the year before that, or the year before that. So on Tuesday morning after my early morning run I looked at my average pace after all of those hilly long runs and started to worry. The whole “is this new training plan going to kill me?” question was loud. Very loud.

Then I made that mistake of taking out my training plan and looking at what I needed to run weeks in advance. Big mistake and enter major panic attack. By the time I got work on Tuesday morning I was convinced that was indeed going to die on a long run somewhere along the Hudson and hoping that maybe someone would find my body before I started to decompose. I forgot what got me to that 100 mile mark!

Of course I posted my panic attack on Twitter. (Who doesn’t?) And yes, leave it to the awesomeness of Twitter to bring me back to reality. One wonderful Twitter pal reminded that this isn’t my first marathon and not to panic and gave me this gem:

you can only run the mile you’re in now! 🙂

She’s exactly right. I know this, we all know this, but sometimes you just need a gentle reminder or a smack upside the head.

Then this popped up on my RunQuote of the day app on my iPhone:

“My philosophy on running is, I don’t dwell on it, I do it.” – Joan Benoit Samuelson

Sounds almost like a Nike ad but very true.

So with this past week being a step down week, I was able to take the panic down a notch and drank a lot of margaritas on Friday and ran six miles the next morning (ouch, I don’t recommend that) then ran nine miles on a hilly route and did not worry about my pace or that I was going to die. (And that was a lovely run-on sentence that I am not going to bother to correct. Think stream of consciousness.)

One of the reasons I hit the 100 mile mark was because I didn’t dwell on the miles or panic about any training plan. I just ran and it felt great.

Note to self: Stop looking more than one week ahead on the training plan and stop looking at the past years’ times. You are not going to die!

12 more weeks to go and I will not panic any more. Well maybe a little. I’ve got to run four miles tomorrow morning and that is all that matters. I’m learning.

About scoopsontherun

I'm a SloHoMo.
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