I have been running for years and have always felt like I should be able to run further than the 13.1miles that is the distance of a half marathon or just to be able to run it far quicker. The constant comparing to other runners is a battle most of us deal with yet we all know we shouldn’t compare. We are all still runners what ever the distance and time we run.
As running quicker doesn’t really appeal to me like it does the masses (I’m quite proud of my sub 2hrs) I would love to be able to run further. But for some reason I have had this barrier up not truly believing I could do it. I won’t lie the thought of running further was pretty scary.
I had so many excuses…. no routes that far, lack of time, training for other races. The reality that when I have ran a half marathon there is no way I felt like I could actually run any further.
But then there was a switch in my mindset. After completing the Royal Parks Half marathon I finished feeling like I could have gone further and I still had something in me and now that I am finding running enjoyable and wanting to set myself bigger challenges I decided to take on the advice of others.
Running beyond that 13 miles would mean my legs were not tired between miles 10-13 during a half marathon race. This is because during training I usually train up to 12 miles before going back down again to taper. Therefore I only ever run as far as 12 miles once in my training and the rest of my runs are all 10 or less miles.
I prepared myself mentally for the prospect of running a 14mile training run. I planned my route combining lots of smaller routes I have done. Set myself a time and day and went to bed prepared to get up and go.
I was fortunate that my sister then offered to look after the girls so that Chris could come with me. This meant the boredom would not be a problem and the getting lost would be ok because chris makes for a better map reader than me. It did however mean my planned route was out the window and his new idea was in.
Keen to explore what we have close by we set off on our run and what a beautiful day for a run it was. The sun was shining and it was a lovely warm autumn day.
It amazes me the routes I have right under my nose that I never knew existed. All these times I’ve avoided these long runs thinking I had no where to go.
We made it to a village close by Grafham Waters where we have previously run the 8-9 mile route around it. Accept this time we just ran there and then headed back.
We managed to run 15miles and I loved it. There were bits that were tough but with a nice steady pace I felt great and I know now I have it in me to run further. The next challenge will be doing it on my own as running with Chris is not a regular occurrence.
I’m excited to see where my legs can take me. I’m excited to find myself in new places.
Why not give it a try yourself. Map out a route… we used strava and see what you find. Walk or run it doesn’t matter but despite thinking we live in a built up area surrounded by roads and houses it amazes me how rural a place it actually can be.