Badass Long Run
Feelings at the end of an exceptionally grueling workout range from:
To reach Badass status, you have to complete conquer a workout that initially scares you and/or finish feeling like you are stronger than you’ve ever been. *Not to be confused with extreme cockiness. If you find yourself checking yourself out in the mirrors at the gym, you have gone too far. ;)
Most days I feel a combo of Satisfied and Hungry. Last weekend’s 14-miler crept into Ecstatic territory. Yesterday, finishing 16 miles in under 2 hours was most assuredly an “I feel like such a badass!” moment. A sweaty badass. (And Eminem wasn’t even involved!)
Long runs are the pinnacle of endurance training, and I truly look forward to my double-digit outtings. But I think it’s only natural to feel a little daunted heading into the longest run in years. 16 miles is the most I have run at one time since the summer before my senior year in high school (I am now a junior in college) when I had my high school boys team and coach with me to talk and joke around with.
Typically long runs are on Sundays. This week I knew that the 16-miler would be in the back of my mind all day Saturday. I wanted to tackle it and have the rest of my weekend to relax! So I enlisted my parents to hop on their bikes and keep me company for the nearly-two hour run as soon as we woke up yesterday morning.
Side note! I envy girls who can run with a flawless ponytail. My hair is naturally curly and fine, and 60+ minutes of swinging back and forth in a ponytail turns my hair into a giant knot. My mom is convinced we have to cut it out every time, but fortunately I have a bit more patience and spend 10 minutes combing it out after my shower. Well I have finally found a cure! French braid & baseball hat = tangle-free. :)
About half way in, my pace was steady and I really believe that positive thoughts are absolutely necessary. Long runs are just as mental as they are physical, because at some point boredom tells your brain that you want to stop. YOU CAN KEEP GOING! I didn’t hit the “bored” point until mile 12, so I pulled out my ipod and let Bruno Mars/Hunter Hayes/Gavin DeGraw push me for the last quarter. And never NEVER let the thought “I don’t know if I can do this” pop into your mind. It’s poison. It’s a lie. It creates doubt and doubt is a primary cause of failure. This is what I tell myself at the beginning of long runs:
I didn’t look at my pace until I finished all 16.1 miles. Discovering I had finished well-under my 2-hour goal time set me into badass bliss and I’ll admit I was pretty proud on my cooldown. Without being a science person, I do know that endorphins are involved in physical activity. I think I have an EXTRA release of the feel-good brain chemicals when I run further! There was an article in my Women’s Health magazine that said “Cardio is like cilantro; you either love it or hate it.” I’m not sure I agree. I like cilantro in small doses in my salsa or certain dishes but too much is overpowering. There can be an ‘in-between’ for cardio too if you’re not as enthusiastic about 110 minute sweat sessions as others. So no matter what your distance/time/efforts, if you have conquered a goal you absolutely deserve to feel PROUD of yourself.
In the past week, I have run 80 miles. (The most ever in 7 consecutive days!) I originally planned to take advantage of the less-crowded-than-usual gym for an afternoon in the weight room after I hit “publish” on this post, but I think the mileage is catching up to me and I could fall asleep as I type. I think I will print out a couple of my at-home-workouts from Pinterest, grab a couple of my sets of weights and do a home version in the comfort of my room. :)
What workout makes you feel like a badass?