I ran 40.7 miles last week.
What? HOW? I know! I am as surprised as you are.
I ran every day of the week, though, Monday through yesterday, and tried a couple different running patterns.
I ran some very long runs where I gave myself a 10-20 second break after every lap, but logged over seven miles.
I ran some shorter runs (3.6 or 4.3 miles, depending on the day) and did them without stopping.
I learned that I can easily run a ten-minute mile after all — and that was the speed at which I ran every step of my seven mile run and most of my other runs. Only yesterday did I take it a little easy and do one mile at 6.0, one mile at 5.0 and repeat the pattern 2.5 times.
I ran on days I was cranky and on days when I had too many other things to do. I ran when I was happy. I ran when my mind was racing faster than my legs. Off I went on my treadmill, squeaky beast that it is.
40.7 miles later, here I am.
Now, that all being said, I am torn about running today. I don’t have schoolwork to do when I come home — which is AWESOME — but I had espresso too late last night and didn’t fall asleep until, like, 4 AM. So I am really effing tired. Like, tilted head and squinty eyes type tired. So I’m debating taking the day off. But if I take today off, will I run on my birthday (Tuesday)? I am not at all opposed to the idea but maybe on that actual day I’ll feel like resting. Oh, I don’t know. I’ll tell you tomorrow whatever I end up deciding.
One more fun fact. Or is it the first fun fact? I’ve not really dropped any fact bombs on you this post. Whatever. In any case, a fun little tidbit: Before I ever started running, I did what we all do with various things like playing on my phone or watching TV — I was the queen of “five more minutes.” And five would become ten or fifteen, etc. You know how it goes. And as I would do things like that — begging myself for just a few more minutes of whatever activity — I know I was just trying to hold onto that feeling of rest, and of belonging to myself outside of my responsibilities, for just a few more moments.
These days, I do that with running. “I’m going for a shorter run!” I yell to Chelsea as I trot down the basement steps. But 35 minutes leads inevitably to 40. At 40, why not go for 45? And then 45 is so close to 5 miles. Come on. Stay on for five miles. Then 5 miles hits, near 50-minutes, and if you’ve been on for 50 why wouldn’t you just stay the hour? But oh, 60 minutes is just shy of 6 miles — stay for 6! And on and on it goes. Unless I force myself, and end up leaving annoyed, I never run for less than 50 minutes anymore. The absolute shortest I’ve ran in the past month has been 39 minutes. I’m finding that my daily run is a place for me to exist both with myself and beyond myself, enjoying some space where I can decompress from the rest of the day and offer myself up to the task.
I never knew I could be that person.
Or maybe I was always that person, and it’s just that I know it, now.