I hope you all got in a nice, easy run this Labor Day, as a build-up to this week’s 18-20 miler. I ran one of my favorite races, The New Haven 20K, which starts and ends by Yale University in downtown New haven. It’s a hilly course and the weather is usually hot and humid. This past Monday was no exception. The humidity point was just about bursting.
As I am training for the Chicago Marathon, I added 2.5 miles prior to the race and 5 after to make it a long run of 20, at close to my marathon pace. Man, it was tough! The humidity and the hills really did a number on me and by mile 9 I was feeling like garbage. But I kept moving on, encouraging myself with thoughts of inspiring friends, like Toshiko d’Elia, who was the first female in the world over 50 to run a sub-3:00 marathon. She is a very close friend of mine and when she was 76, (she’s now 83) she came to New Haven with me to run the race. At mile 6, she was pushed and fell down on the road, breaking her arm. Not one to quit or complain, she got up, cradled her arm, and continued the race, setting a course record for her age. That inspiring moment kept me going for the rest of the race. So did the bands along the way and at mile 12, I high-fived and thanked the band members who were tearing it up just when we needed it.
When I got back home, I heard about Dianna Nyad’s epic swim from Havana to Key West, her fifth attempt. Upon finishing she said, “Never ever give up.” That’s what I want you all to think about when you do your long run this weekend. Never give up. Everyone struggles with the long run, even Kenyans! This is a test to your stamina and mental durability. Your TFK teammates will help to pull you through this.
Later this week I’ll post a blog on mantras. Till then, think of what yours will be this weekend.