Morning full of hurt

Long slow distance. That’s been my mantra the past several weeks – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon.

This morning, though, was an interesting ride: a cup of coffee down before heading outside, again I was baffled on what to wear. Good thing I chose water resistance pants and jacket. It started out as rain, but thankfully the wind wasn’t howling.

The first miles slipped by quickly enough, with the first 5 easy and breezy. Then it would get interesting. The rain turned to snow, and with a slightly uneasy stomach, I knew I was in for a long morning. By mile 8, my inclination was that it would be a festival of pain, especially for my legs.

The previous two weeks, my long runs have topped out at 18 miles and my intention was to go further. At least I had the company of a friend for 11 miles today, and while the thought of heading home flashed into my mind, it was a thought I discarded quickly.

So I turned onto a trail and headed out for loop No. 2, and knew if I could just get to the turnaround point, I’d have no choice but to keep running.

It seemed for the next several miles, my thoughts were lost on nothing in particular. My goal was just to stay focused, and once I hit the turnaround, my thoughts turned quickly. I wish I could say each step felt light and smooth, but it seemed my only thought was to make it back home.

The snow turned to ice pellets as I headed back into the wind. Not as bad as running in a blizzard, but each one felt like little siblings to the needles that jabbed at my eyes during a blizzard last month.

My goal for this year, at this point, is to log plenty of long slow distance. With an abdomen injury that won’t go away, running hard just doesn’t seem like much of an option. But I’m hoping piling on lots of miles will help get me into marathon shape, and the lesser intensity allows my muscles to heal.

Outside of Grandma’s, I’m still not certain of my plans for the year. I’ll likely run something in Fargo, and I’m leaning toward the full marathon, but it won’t be fast like my last several marathons. In about a week, I’m expecting to hear about entry into the New York Marathon, and I’ve put most of my hopes in a late fall race to run fast. Until then, I’m just trying to pour on mileage and get healthy.

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