It seems I’ve been training for a half marathon all year!Actually, I began in March and hit a road
block about the time I was due to run my first six-miler.After recuperating from a couple of setbacks,
I began again and reached the six-mile long run last weekend.I had recruited a running buddy because long
runs can get pretty lonely.Unfortunately, there is a strange phenomenon surrounding the six-mile
run.Running buddies tend to disappear
for six-milers.I think I know the reasons.It isn’t because they are wimping out (well
maybe) rather they have reasons not to run six miles.
#1 – They are not training for a half, so six miles is just
a random run.It is not their goal.
#2 – Unless you can run a six minute mile (Most of us can’t)
it takes a while to run six miles. Sometimes a long run just doesn’t work into
#3 – Recovery.Six
miles takes more out of a body than three, or four, or even five.
This time my running buddy had something else come up and
she had to cancel.That happens, too.
That’s why I found myself alone on the road with only the
voices of Alan Jackson, Sarah Brightman, Roger Miller, The Beatles, David
Essex, and George Jones, to name a few.I have an eclectic taste in running music! I chose a route I had not traveled for many
moons.Long runs are typically done at
an easy pace.Their purpose is to build strength
and endurance. I think they also have a purpose for building patience –
something I need to work on.
Blooming Russian Olive Tree
I started slow.At 1.5 miles I was still slow and tried to
pick up the pace a bit. Somewhere around mile three I got lost in my thoughts.This was strange because somewhere around
mile three I realized I had a 2 mile stretch that was bordered by blooming
Russian Olive trees!Like this one.
This was a problem because those innocuous yellow blossoms
have a sickening sweet aroma that wreaks havoc on my head!I dislike blooming Russian Olives with a
passion, which is unfortunate because I am trying to bridle my passions! I
thought, perhaps, this 2 mile stretch would be my undoing, but I just kept
moving.I ignored the trees and focused
on … I don’t remember.I think I let my
mind wander, enjoying the assorted tunes bouncing in my ears and wondering what
the uphill mile at the end of the run was going to feel like.
It felt fine.In
fact, it almost felt good!The best part
was the time on my watch at the end of the run.It was the fastest I had ever covered six miles – 10K races
included!The slow start, the Russian
olives, and the uphill mile at the end, were all a part of my lonely run and
they combined for success.I was
satisfied with a sense of accomplishment afterwards, yet I had no buddy to whom
I could brag, but then, if I had done the run with a buddy my time would have
been slower because I would surely have been chatting along the way.