I always know when my races are getting close not because of the date on the calendar but because of the route I run. I am fortunate to live in an area with lots of “loops” that allow me to start and end at my house without stopping in the middle of the road and turning around. I have everything from 1-13. That might be harder if I ever do the “big one” but for now I’m good.
So last week I initiated my race training long run route. It has lots of ups and downs and shaded sections which is good when it’s sunny. It’s a challenging route which is good just before a race I think. It changes up what my body is expecting to run which for the most part is the same route for 3-10 mile routes.
So there is one road that I run on this long route that is about 5 miles in that I call the Friday the 13th road. It’s just over 3/4 mile long and it looks “shady”. A few houses in the beginning but toward the end they are much further apart and there are just a few. I always keep my eyes open on this road because well, if anything happened I am not convinced anyone would hear my cries for help and I’m sure I wouldn’t be found for a very long time. Just a mental thing kind of like the eerie music in a scary film. Take the music out of it and it can actually be funny. Anyway I was running on this section and still thinking about what I could do to make the time pass and find the fun in the run.
Now in my opinion, everything about a run is always the same except for the seasons, weather and perhaps how you are feeling. The scenery is what I mean here. Last week 11 miles seemed challenging so I stopped and took pictures every mile when I hydrated. It definitely made a difference to getting through it…I know it’s not a marathon or anything but it was a challenge for me that day. So this week I didn’t want to repeat but I wasn’t sure what I could do to make it fun. So I headed out with no agenda and felt better than last week so I didn’t plan to stop every mile. Just over 5 miles I was running this route that has always been the same to the eye when I ran by this house. It occurred to me that I could take pictures of well decorated houses since Halloween is just 2 weeks away. This was the first…and only picture I took. No other houses were decorated and no other homeowners made any attempts to decorate but it is what could be considered early to decorate. I’m glad I stopped to appreciate this house and I’m glad there were no others because I only stopped a few times along the route.
It was nice to have a change in the scenery that I know so well. Nice to have something to draw my attention away from the run and the fact that my phone was low on juice so I had to shut my music off and listen to me talking myself through the miles and hearing the sound of my breathing. That can be challenging at times so the distraction was nice. At this point I can’t imagine 26.2 and how the heck I’d get through that but then again 13.1 was on the never list two years ago too. I remember telling a co-worker that I had no desire to run a half marathon…LOL as I get ready to run my third!