So, I may have mentioned that I’m training for yet another half marathon. The training plan I’m following involves running your “long run” on Sundays1 and the length of the long run gets longer pretty much every week. It starts off with what I’d consider a short run – 7 km – and you do that for three weeks, followed by two weeks of 9 km runs, then two weeks of 10 km runs. And then, we hit my least favourite run of all the runs – the dreaded 12 km!
Why do I dread the 12 km run? Well, I’ve found that throughout all my training, I’m totally content with the long runs up to 10 km and once I hit 16 km, I’m fine with that too. But 12 km always kicks my ass. I think what happens is my brain just can’t seem to mentally prepare itself for a 12 km distance. 7, 9 and 10 km are good solid runs, but not what either my brain nor my body consider “long,” given the number of times I’ve run 16+ km runs. But 12 km is a distance where my brain and my body are not on the same page. No matter how many times I tell my brain “12 km is a good long distance! You are going to be out there running for more than an hour!”, it just won’t listen to me. It’s like “Whatevs, Beth. Easy peasy.” And then I get out there and run and run and run and my body goes, “WTF? Why are we still running? DO NOT LIKE!”
I have a similar thing happen with 14 km runs, but I think the 12 km run is worse because my brain knows “Even after you finish this stupid, stupid 12 km, next week you have to do a stupid, stupid 14 km and you are going to hate it too!” But at the end of the 14 km the following week, I know that my brain will resign itself to the fact that we are, in fact, doing long runs and so the 16 km run the following week is all well and good. I know, my brain is weird.
- or, in the case of this week where I had Monday off work, on Monday! [↩]