When I run, I divide my run in head, setting milestones to help get myself through the rough parts. It gives me targets to shoot for and lessens the pain toward the end.
The best milestone is a mile to go. In most cases, that means I have less than ten minutes to run. In college, we called it smelling the barn. We could run faster because we were almost home. I tell myself I can endure almost anything for ten minutes. In some cases this mile is kicked off with “Let’s get this crap over with.”
The next best is halfway. Whatever distance my run is or whatever route I’m taking, somehow it’s always easier once the first half of the run is done. It’s like cresting the top of the hill and the rest of the way is downhill. The mileage countdown in my head starts to count with “only four miles to go.” (This method doesn’t work as well when halfway is thirteen, but then all these milestone are nearly useless at that distance–except for the one-mile-let’s-get-this-crap-over-with. And insert a more impolite word for crap as well as an impolite descriptor.)
The other milestone is one mile in. Once I have one mile done, I’ve usually shaken out the soreness and the tight muscles. My breathing has eased from hyperventilation to something steadier. And I have one mile down, so what I have left to go is much less intimidating than it was ten minutes ago.
The problem lies in the miles between one mile and halfway. They’re climbing the hill. They’re in the middle. They’re tedious. They also tend to be where I hit the bigger hills around my house. They can be a struggle to get through. They’re like Tuesdays.
The week has started, but it’s not Wednesday–the middle, or Thursday–the almost Friday, or Friday–the end. Tuesday is just there to be gotten through.
Well, that’s a lot to say I’m going to make Tuesday a day to look forward to. Check out my blog on Tuesdays for cool giveaways. Here’s a preview of the giveaway for August 5.
If you want to find out more, come back on Tuesday.