At many points during my training I have to take a step back and reevaluate why I am running. I don't pretend to enjoy it every time I hit the pavement. In fact there are many times that I have to really fight the urge to give up a run and start walking, especially when I am pushing the pace.
I run for several reasons. I run for the obvious health benefits, I run for the competition against my previous run paces and the competition vs. others during a race. I run for the feeling I get after completion (the so called runners high). Finally, I run because it can be a great form of meditation; losing yourself in thought while you whittle away the miles.
Tuesday I was in Marshall, MN for work, and had the opportunity to run a route that I had planned ahead of time. Initially I thought it was going to be just over 6 miles, but GOOGLE WAS WRONG. The Google map had my hotel starting point about a quarter mile closer than it should have. I had to use the aerial view on Mapquest to find my hotel and the actual starting point for my run. So instead of 6.17 miles, I actually ran 6.72 miles. I really wanted to push my pace because I had a couple of non-runners waiting on me to go to dinner. I went out way to fast and had to really take it easy the last couple of miles. I still finished with about a 7:30 pace for the run, which is very strong for me.
Today's run was a hot and humid 84 degrees for 8 miles. I took it easy and logged an 8:30 pace for the run. It's amazing what you can will your body to do. My goal for today's run was an 8:30 pace, I was right on the money at the 4 mile mark and did not look at my watch again until I finished. My finishing time was 1:08:04, 4 seconds over exactly running an 8:30 pace!