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My running volume has considerably diminished from marathon levels – less than 2 months ago.  Since the NYC Marathon on November 2, my longest run was one half marathon (13.1 miles) on November 23.     Since then….even less.   And while I’ve enjoyed changing up my routine – especially with my thought rut challenge – I signed up to run a virtual half marathon.   The Polar Bear Run —  a 13.1 mile charity fundraiser run that I could do anytime and anyplace  between Christmas and New Years.

The funny thing about running, is the less distance you run – the more your mind is convinced that anything longer is a really big deal.   In the last month – my long runs have peaked at 9 miles.  Despite the fact that I was running a 1/2 marathon+more each week for 5 months,  I’m not entirely convinced now that I can run 13.1 miles. 

Thus, I signed up for the Polar Bear Run – to give my mind some much needed mental training, and to do my good deed supporting the health needs of children.  A win-win.  Oh, and it will help to burn off some of those food-coma calories I’ve been consuming for the last week too!

Rain was in the forecast for noon – and I was anxiously waiting to get started running early.  The moment I stepped out the door (7:15am) — it had started drizzling.  Seriously??  I hoped it wouldn’t last – so got 3/10’s of a mile in when it rained even harder.   OK.   So I turned back – not to end my run – but to retrieve clothes for running in the rain.  You see – I am going to run my 13.1 miles today no matter what!   After several false starts (one to return for rain gear, one to return for emergency money, and one to return for my goo) – I am finally on the run!   My luck improved.  After the first 1 mile — all rain had stopped.

15941602990_f2a5edb90a_bI gave myself options to stop, drink more water, stretch…and even return home for a refueling stop (whoops – I forgot to eat breakfast before I ran!) – but my mind was just as strong as ever.  No stopping til 13.1 miles are done.  I ran at a comfortably casual pace – and felt fantastic during and post-run.  Despite my mind trying to convince me prior to the run that this was an especially long distance — I had it wrong!   Now, I’m ready for more!