Everything Hurts and I’m Dying

Ah, my favorite day of the week. Long Run & Pancake Day.

One of the biggest challenges for me right now is speed: speed work needs to be faster and long runs need to be slower. I thought about this this morning. Speaking of which:

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So I knew when I took this it wasn’t like, a glam shot. Like if I were taking this for a magazine, an editor would probably be like “Um, can you take another one?” Could I have smiled or winked adorably? Maybe BOTH? Sure, but I also just wanted to capture how I felt in the moment, which was… well, this. Sweaty, tired as heck, and ready for pancakes.

So 9:51 is the same long run pace I did a few weeks ago. This still seems pretty fast for me, for a 10-mile run anyway. It’s not exactly my 5K pace or even my 10K pace, but still, my long runs have veered out of “conversational” and into “pushing it.” Here’s the thing: long runs are SUPPOSED to be on the slow side. While my easy pace has naturally gotten faster, I also feel like it’s been on the brink of too fast. Not fast, not easy. Somewhere in between. Maybe this is okay? I just don’t want to make going longer harder than it has to be.

It’s just hard to slow down after I’ve already established my pace on a run. I have to be SUPER conscious of it. This is more mental than physical. It’s like I’m competitive… with myself. I don’t want to go slower than I did last week. I have to keep improving ALL THE TIME OR ELSE. I kind of miss going to therapy because I’d probably be able to get to the bottom of this, but I think I have this fear that if I slow down, I’ll somehow regress. Like I’ll unlearn or undo all the progress I’ve made. I know this is not logical, I’m just trying to convince my body of that at this point.

I want to continue to extend the distance of my long runs, so I’m going to go for 10.5 miles next week while being conscious of all of this. I’m not going to go back to 11:30 land, but I’m also not going to push it so much that I have trouble going longer.

By the way, this is the full text of my shirt:

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I bought it last year at Marshall’s kind of as a joke. At the time, I tweeted a pic of me trying it on in the dressing room and said that I was buying clothes for a first date, which wasn’t true at all. I just thought it’d make a better joke than “Buying new running clothes!” I’ve only worn it a handful of times. It’s like a garnish for my wardrobe. Like cilantro, I don’t want to overdo it. I have to be in the mood.

One time I was wearing it and an old guy on a motorbike stopped at a light smiled and waved at me and I gave him a thumbs up because I’m cool with old dudes on motorbikes acknowledging me. Another time a guy runner passed me and I did the “lazy wave/good morning” greeting runners typically give each other, but he was just like, looking at my shirt the whole time. Maybe he was a slow reader.

Anyway, I feel good about the run today. The weather was great and I love running on Sunday morning when most cars are still parked in driveways. Afterwards I made pancakes with blueberries, and ate four.

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