Earlier this week, I wrote a whiny post about not successfully completing my long run.
Well, folks, I completed it Friday, and it felt great.
I actually had two false starts on my long run this week, and my doubt was starting to snowball. Rapidly.
I overslept this morning and didn’t have time to dilly-dally the way I like to before I go run. I threw on some clothes, scarfed some peanut butter toast and guzzled some Gatorade. I also put some Gatorade in a water bottle to take with me, something I’ve not done before.
Because I was in a hurry, I left all my junk at home. I usually listen to music when I run outside and strap on a heart monitor.
Today, I just put on my watch, grabbed my water bottle and went. I also wore a different pair of shoes than the ones I’ve been training in.
I took off down my street, bottle in hand, and ran toward the park I like to run loops in. It became evident early on that I was not going to be holding my water bottle for all 7 miles. Once I reached the park, after about 1.5 miles, I stashed it in a tree and went on my way.
After I ditched the water bottle, I realized how light and unencumbered I felt. My hands were free, I could hear the birds, I didn’t have a heart rate monitor sqeezing me or headphone wires flopping around. I was left with my own thoughts and the sounds in the park. It was… liberating.
I ran my first loop and doubled back to where I’d hidden my drink (about 4 miles in). I was starting to get tired. I let myself walk for a few minutes while I drained my Gatorade, and I felt almost immediately better after getting that in my system. I made it through the rest of my run and actually walked an additional mile, for a grand total of 8.
Lesson learned: When you run for a long time, you need to refuel. Also, when it comes to gear, sometimes less is more.