I'm trying to increase the distance of my long runs. I have been trying for quite awhile but I've been rather unsuccessful. A few years ago, something changed and it has taken a long time for me to accept that this is probably the new "normal". I used to read other runner's blogs and wonder why they talked about the pain of running so much. Since I was already a somewhat older runner, (in my forties), and I ran pain free most of the time. I didn't understand why it would be so painful for so many other runners. Not only did I used to be Kingcoffee, I was also the king of no pain.
Somewhere around the age of 48, that began to change. I thought it was just a temporary thing. Seven years later, I just might be ready to accept that this is just the way things are going to be. What is the next stage after denial?
Today I did the longest run of this year to date, almost 13 miles. It was a struggle for the first 3 miles but then my muscles began to loosen up. By the time I reached my planned stop at a gas station, my legs were really tired. After a 6 minute break a the gas station, I began shuffling along the bike path again. I was thinking, for the third time that i was going to come up short of my goal which was to run for two hours.
Twenty minutes later, I found a renewed sense of vigor and picked up the pace. This lasted for 3 or 4 miles and then I began to struggle again, although not as much as before. The second hour was faster paced than the first hour, which is good, I guess.
Every run starts off slow now and the first 3 miles are almost always the hardest. This really sucks for racing 5k"s. I try to run at least a mile and a half before a 5k race now, because it takes so long for my legs to loosen up. I always end up passing a lot of people in the second half of a 5k. It feels good but I sure wish I could get started faster and run a faster overall time.
Mostly what was running through my mind while I was running today was, this has really become a lot harder to do.