Anyone who knows me well, knows that I become much of a spazz (for lack of a better adjective), when it comes to my long runs. For some reason, I am overcome by anxiety and fear over my long runs. Usually a day or two before a long run I begin to question whether I am capable and/or prepared for the work ahead. I wonder if I will have to walk, or if I will have the determination to finish. At the end of a run, I am always satisfied that I finish. Sometimes I am disappointed with the rest breaks, but always content with completion.
My long run last weekend was a 19 miler. I was hoping to get it out of the way on Saturday morning. I got up at 5:00AM hoping to get an early start and get it over with. Although the temps were cooler than days prior, the humidity was still high from the storm Friday night (100% humidity, per weather.com). Disappointed with the humidity level, I decided it would be best to hold off until Sunday morning before church.
Saturday night, Jeremy and I slept (if that's what you want to call it), on an air mattress, for the last night in our Maple Grove home. I tossed and turned, and froze. When my alarm went off at 5:00AM, both Jeremy and I were both eager to get up, as we hadn't slept much anyway.
I am so grateful for Jeremy, and his willingness to accompany me on my long runs. His presence brings peace to my spirit as I pound the pavement. We were out the door by 5:20AM. It was cool and the humidity levels were way down. I could not have prayed for a more glorious morning! I decided I was going to take a slower pace, but focus on staying in control and being steady along the run. Turns out that was a fantastic plan. We hit the stoplights at the perfect time--we did not have to stop. I wasn't even craving fluids for most of the journey. The temps were lower, so I wasn't sweating as much. Jeremy was content and soothing as he encouraged me, and continually checked in with me. He stayed with my for 14 of my 19 mile journey, until he had to go back to get things ready for church. After he left me, I had come so far, I knew I had 5 more miles in me. I knew I could do the last 5 without stopping...and I did!
As mentioned, my pace was much slower than usual (an average 8:04/mile pace). But I felt strong, both physically and mentally. I am convinced that three contributing factors influenced this run: 1. The Lord being my strength and reminding me of His ever-present help in my weakness. 2. My faithful husband who never fails to believe in my abilities, even when I lack the confidence. 3. The cool temps and low humidity, allowing my body to stay cooler than normal.
It is runs like this one that remind me why 4 months of training is worth it. When I finish a run that I am proud of, I build my confidnece for the next one! 19 miles has never felt so good!
Thank you Lord. May my running, my training, and my discipline make You smile. Thank you Jeremy--You reflect the beauty of the Lord.