All of you fellow runners who are training for a race or who have ever trained for a race know what I mean when I say "long run". The long run is the run you do once a week to build your miles, it's the longest run of the week and gets increasingly longer as the weeks pass and race day approaches. For most of us, the long run takes place on a weekend due to the amount of time it takes to complete.
The long run is a commitment, not only for yourself but a commitment from your spouse, your children, your pets, your friends or anyone else who may count on you to be there. Personally, I dread the long run. Not because of the run itself (well...sometimes) but because of the time it takes to actually complete that run, sometimes hours. I hate to miss a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon with my family. Weekend family time is the best and I feel guilty and selfish missing out. The good thing is that I usually feel good once I am out there running and never do I regret going running. The long runs are necessary for distance running, they make us stronger, keep us committed and build our endurance.
Last weekend I planned to do my long run on Saturday, not sure when or how (my husband wasn't available to be with the daughter) but I had been coming down with a cold a couple days before and Saturday just felt awful. I put it off and finally by Sunday evening I felt well enough to run. Not great, but well enough. It had been an exhausting week and after putting my daughter to bed Sunday night, all I wanted to do was get in my PJs and chill out a bit. But instead I laced up and headed out to run 7.5 miles. It was a perfect evening for a run, I can't even tell you how perfect. It was warm enough to run in a tank top but with enough wind to stay cool. And with the sun setting over the mountains as I ran...ugh, amazing! I had been struggling to get my miles up for a variety of reasons while training for the upcoming half marathon and therefore I expected this run to feel hard and impossible but knew I would just keep going until 7.5 was accomplished. However, the opposite happened, I felt great! I didn't struggle, I didn't want to die and had it not been for the fact that it got dark at the end of my run, I may have even felt motivated enough to keep going. During my run I kept thinking "this is a perfect run"...besides the small side ache that was lingering, so the thoughts turned to "this is a near-perfect run". It was exactly what I needed and I was so thrilled to achieve the goal not only physically but mentally as well. So to all you fellow mother runners I encourage you to keep going and don't give up. If you can't do it one day, do it the next day. Just run!