16: Daydreaming

After last week’s demoralizing 20 miler, I didn’t run at all this week. It started out as a couple of extra rest days and turned into a pity party/excuse fest. Even though I had no motivation, I knew I couldn’t skip my Saturday long run, especially only two weeks out from the race. I wasn’t sure how the week off would affect this run. Would I have the endurance to run it all? Would my pace bottom out? Would the rest have helped?

What was my brain going to do today? Would I overthink everything and paralyze myself again? Would I beat myself up? Would I be wracked by self-doubt and anxiety?

So I decided to just run. Run without looking at my watch. Run without thinking about running or racing.

Just run.

I daydreamed and let my mind wander as my body went on and did its thing. I wrote a couple of blogs in my head: one about the church and politics, the other about softball and sexism. I also picked out my imaginary Halloween costume for an imaginary date to an imaginary Halloween party with a very real person. I spent about three miles through Buckhead fantasizing about how that would play out and what ethical delimmas could arise. Good imaginary times. Good imaginary times.

Those daydreaming miles passed effortlessly. I had moments when I looked around and thought, “How did I get here already?”

That’s what I like best about long runs. They’ve always served as a reboot for my brain. They’ve been two, three, four hours alone with no noisy interruptions when I can think and compose and sightsee and stargaze and daydream.

Sometimes when I get home from a long run, I think back on things that happened and things I thought about during it, and it seems just like waking up in the morning and remembering a dream. I think somehow those things must be stored in the same part of the brain. I suspect that long runs have something in common with REM sleep.

The 16 miles ended. I pushed the stop button on my watch and I had run the 16 miles in 2:52:21. That’s a super pace for me at that distance – 10:46.

As I did my cool down walk, I thought about how I always judge myself as good or bad based on the outcome of the things I do. I never allow for any grey area. That’s ironic, because I give everybody else prodigious grey area – often more than they deserve, and often to my own detriment.

I need to remember that a bad run doesn’t make me a bad person. A bad day doesn’t make me a bad person. Even doing a bad thing doesn’t make me a bad person.

And I need to remember that I’m the only one who cares if I break 5 hours in this marathon. My family will still love me. My church won’t burn down. The Earth’s spin will not screech to a halt. They even won’t stop producing Diet Mountain Dew or Pop Tarts.

Even Jesus had a bad day, got pissed at a fig tree and dried that bitch right up. Last I read, he was still a pretty stand up guy.
________________________________________

16 miles
2:52:21
156 avg heart rate
10:46 avg pace

Splits

  1. 10:24
  2. 10:57
  3. 10:50
  4. 10:53
  5. 11:19
  6. 10:44
  7. 10:35
  8. 10:44
  9. 11:22
  10. 10:21
  11. 11:17
  12. 10:56
  13. 10:43
  14. 10:54
  15. 10:38
  16. 9:44

Total weekly miles: 16

Compare to Last Week

Weeks to Savannah Rock n’ Roll Marathon: 2

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can…
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3 responses to “16: Daydreaming”

  1. Thomas Jones says :

    “So I decided to just run. Run without looking at my watch. Run without thinking about running or racing.

    “Just run.”

    Enjoyed this. Some relation to “Gumpism,” but still perhaps not purely so– too much thinking in your “daydreaming.”

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  1. The 12 That Should’ve Been | A Long Run - November 1, 2014

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