It was tough physically, but that's okay, because the point of a long run is to get the feet and hips and ankles and shoulders and knees used to the pounding. And I did have a few minutes of runners high -- isn't it fun when that kicks in?!
But it was really tough mentally. At four miles, I was SOOOO close to quitting. But a few things happened. One, I had tweeted Rae before I started that I was going to do 8 -- and I didn't want to have to tell Ironwoman Rae that I had quit. (Thanks, Rae!)
Second, I got a few "signs" from my dad up in heaven. Even though he was probably on the sixth green of his morning golf game, he was still keeping tabs on me. The first sign was a runner that passed me wearing a tee shirt that said "Reach higher" -- funny, dad.
Second, one of my favorite songs about surviving cancer started playing. It's a great song, and of course reminded me how lucky I was to be healthy and able to run on a beautiful, green leafy park trail.
And right after that song was a song about a father who had been in war -- sounds depressing, but again, it's a very good song that reminds me of my dad. I can't imagine being 20 like he was, in the Army and living overseas, much less being a soldier today in war zones. How could I complain about having to run eight miles? In nice shoes, with an iPod, on a beautiful running trail?
So I laughed and thanked my dad, and told him to get back to his heavenly golf game. The rest of the run wasn't that much easier, but being open to some signs from heaven certainly got me through that bad mental patch.
The goal for next week is 8.50 miles. I really want to get to 10 miles this year by Labor Day. After that it gets a little chilly here in Michigan, and I do NOT run outside when it's cold. No icicles for me, Jeff W!