Hal scheduled four monsters for me this spring - 17, 18, 19 and 20. I modified it a little to 17, 18, 20, 22, in the attempt of pushing back or eliminating hitting "the wall" during races. I figure if I'm already running 20 miles, what's two more? Theoretically the more often my body gets pushed to or past the wall, the more acclimated it will be on race day.
My 17-mile run was done on a dreadmill and it was boring boring boring. It was also nice to have a constant temperature and be able to run in shorts and a tank. Yet there was no way on earth I wanted to do it again.
Saturday was my 18-miler and I wanted to do it on the same route as the Martian. When I ran it in 2012 I was insanely bored on the course. I thought perhaps it was because my only point of reference for comparison was the Free Press marathon, which is huge with 20,000+ participants and thousands of spectators. The Martian had maybe 400 runners and 25 spectators.
I thought perhaps I had judged too harshly, but no, it really was that boring, and training on the same route was equally boring. I don't know what made it boring though, because I'm certainly familiar with running alone, both in training and at races like Columbia City.
Maybe the weather? Yesterday was cold. I didn't even look at the temperature online because knowing the temperature would have psyched out my attitude. Maybe if it was sunny it wouldn't be so terrible? Who knows?
I ran 9 miles, turned around and came back. At mile 13.4 my iPod battery died. Nooooo!!!! So I sang to myself, recited the Declaration of Independence, repeated a poem I had to memorize in 7th grade.
It got done. It was horribly slow, one of the worst average paces I've ever done. Many times I had to walk because of the snow. I've decided I just don't run in snow. What else would explain my slowness? The cold? Lack of sun? Boredom? No music? Boredom?
Took a long hot shower when I got home, but I was still shivering and shaking after, so I heated up a big cup of coffee and that helped. Most long and runs, and every race, one of my constant thoughts is "mmm....coffee...."
My "post long run and I refuse to feel guilty for eating this" dinner was a small Jets pizza - Hawaiian style with bacon, ham and pineapple. Yum!!!!
Any suggestions for dealing with boredom? When your mind and body are both fighting against a run, how do you still make it a good one?