I think the way I feel about my long run (before the day of the run) is determined by how the rest of the week had been. This week, I have to admit that I wasn't very enthusiastic about my long run because I've had one of the most exhausting week since I moved here 4(!) months ago. It started with getting over a cold from that dreadful fever last week, and proceeded with a non-stop work week, thanks to the Annual Elected Coordinated Period for Medicare. (In layman's term, it's a period of free-for-all for most people who have Medicare, and the phones won't stop ringing.) I worked and worked, and even went to an off-site some where 30 minutes away from Jamaica, Queens to do presentations. I was already exhausted on Monday from being sick, and I was depleted on Friday.
I was battling a general fatigue throughout the week, but I had completely gotten over the cold and really didn't have any excuse to ditch my run. After stalling for a little bit, I finally just got over it, got ready, and went out the door.
This entire week, when I first start running, I've had this sensation that I'm not really there. My mind becomes a big blur, and it's almost miraculous that my legs keep moving, because I have no conscious thought through my head. I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm tired. I had this sensation again this morning, and I wasn't really aware of what I was doing until after I crossed the bridge, which is pretty much 3 miles into the run.
On Sundays, there are considerably more people running then any other mornings. I try to not pass any judgments, but you can tell right away if someone is not a frequent runner. The dead give-away is if anyone, male or female, is running in sweats. After you run a couple of time, you realize how burdensome it is to wear heavy clothing, and you pretty much shy away from anything cotton. When I see someone running in big old sweats I assume right away that they don't run very often.
I ran to Central Park. I went around the reservoir twice today (SO much better puddle-free), got back on the loop route, and kept running. Around mile 8ish, I noticed how slowly I was going, and these sweats-clad people were passing me. When I run for more than an hour, I never feel like I'm flying the entire time, but the fact that these infrequent runners were passing me left and right made me realize how SLOWLY I must have been going. I couldn't go any faster, though. I just couldn't. I shook off the dumb pride and kept at my own speed, and trucked along the E 110th St. hill. (Just fyi, you're going to hear about this hill often. It's pretty killer and long.)
Last week, I had a problem of mustering the energy to keep going. This week, that was not an issue. I was going tortoise-slow, but I didn't want to stop. I ran the entire 12.7 miles I ended up running. (That 0.3 miles that would have made it 13 kind of kills me) I was slow but steady, and I felt good when I saw Columbus Circle. Columbus Circle is on the last mile of my route, and I've made the mistake several times of expecting to see the CNN building at Columbus Circle way too early, and thus being discouraged and tired. Today, I was surprised to see it at the time that I saw it, and went on my merry way towards 5th Ave, which is the end of the route.
I could have gone further and crossed the bridge, but there's something about going from the beautiful park to the industrial part of the bridge that makes it unappealing, especially at the end of the run when you kind of need a boost. I figured I ran at least 12 miles at that point ( I need my heart rate monitor to actually track this kind of shiz), and saw the bus and took it home.
So that's that. FINALLY a successful run. I suppose next week is my half-marathon mileage week. I should be more than ready, since I have ample time to rest before, aka Thanksgiving weekend. HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!!