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A Tale of Two Runs

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This weekend was my last long run before Avengers Half weekend.  At least, according to Jeff Galloway, this is the last long run I need to be prepared to finish in the upright position.

This is a tale of two runs, each entirely different than the other.

avengers training 1

Since I’m doing the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, I had to simulate a race weekend.  On the schedule was 5 and 14.  I’m not a fan of running past the race distance, so I usually top my training runs at 12 or 12.5 miles.

I know, I know… trust in Jeff.  And I do.  But I’ve completed enough of these races to know what works for me, and in this instance 12 is the magic number.

Due to circumstance, I decided to go for 12 on Friday and blow off the 5.  Uh, yeah.  So throwing that whole Coach Galloway plan out the window.  Don’t worry- this completely bit me in the butt.

Apparently, the universe trusts in Jeff, and it wanted me to complete the miles as Jeff suggested.


I took the kids to school, checked the weather, and figured it was a go for the big 12-miler outside.

Two weeks ago I finished 12.5 on the treadmill. I’ve trained for halves strictly on a treadmill, and it’s ok, but not ideal when it comes to race day.  I wanted to get these 12 outside on my usual trail.

Truth?  I was dreading this 12 miles.  I don’t know why but I had tons of negative thoughts racing through my head.  I was setting myself up for failure before I even took the first step.

My stream of consciousness on this run went something like this:

Wait- wait- I’m only 2 in?  How is it only 2?  

This sucks.  I really don’t like this.   By this, I mean running.

The sun.  My gaaawwddd the sun is so bright! 

Why do I do this (running)?  Why on earth do I need 12 miles?

Faarrrrkkkkk… 3.  Just.  3.

I’m not a runner.  I’m SOOOOO not a runner.  And don’t give me that crap that if you run you are a runner, cause EFFF this noise.  I’m not a runner.

5.  I’m done at 5.  



I went back to the car completely defeated.  I posted on Facebook about this craptastic run as you do.

Y’all, I can’t even call it a run.  It was so bad I was averaging 18-minute miles and I ran 30-45 seconds PER MILE.  That’s not a run or completed by a runner.  It was just a long, frustrating walk.

The good news?  On the drive home my attitude turned around.  I knew I had 12 in me; I just had to try again.

I set my clothes out, charged the Garmin, set the alarm and went to bed early.



The alarm went off, and I considered just blowing it all off.  Thankfully this only lasted about 30 seconds.

Hey, maybe I AM a runner?  Because who else gets up at 4 am to run 12 miles?

I checked the weather and even though the humidity is still high (I live in Arizona, right?  What’s up with this?!) the temps are finally showing us why we love living here.


Everything went smoothly as I left the house and headed to my trail.

So far things were looking positive.

And then it hit me: maybe that was what went wrong yesterday.

Yes, it was sunny and a little later of a start than I prefer, so the circumstances weren’t my perfect ideal.  But those things shouldn’t have caused the crash and burn that happened.

The mental negativity?  Yep.  THAT could cause the crash and burn.

I knew from the first steps that, well, I was a freakin’ runner.


The first 4 miles simply flew by.  I was running by feel without the set intervals I tend to use.  And it was working well.

I wasn’t hitting 10K PR levels, but I was moving a heck of a lot faster than I have during training lately.

Positivity.  Who knew?

I felt, well, Incredible.


After mile 6 my hip started acting up.  I think it’s bursitis or maybe my ITB acting up (AGAIN).

I walked through 1.75 miles trying to let it loosen up.  I also stopped at my turn around and stretched as best I could.

PS- pause the Garmin when you do this. When I saw a 30-minute mile, I almost fainted.

Oh, My!

Once things felt a smidge better, I started up with proper intervals again.  This kept me at a steady state, and I was able to finish this run strong.  But the second half of the run slowed way down, which is typical for me.  Ah well- work in progress!

Average pace (minus that 15 minutes due to the stretch break) was 15:08.  So much better than 18’s, right?


While the training is pretty solid this go around, I might still try to get in another 10+ mile run next week.  I feel good about where I am (i.e., I’m not going to die on the course!) but I wouldn’t mind having one more long run on my legs.

We’ll see what happens this week!

stay tuned

How do negative thoughts affect your training?  Do you ever call it short and try again the next day?

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Monday 2nd of November 2015

GOOD LUCK this weekend!!!! I know you'll have a great time! I vote no 10 miler this week. Give your legs a rest. You've put in the trust your training! Crossing my fingers for no windy weather!


Monday 2nd of November 2015

I know- I would love some 50s without wind or rain!