I can’t believe St. Jude is only three weeks away. It’s both terrifying and exhilarating. This weekend I had my longest run before the biggest race of the year. It wasn’t easy, but it put into perspective the endurance and perseverance that it takes to battle childhood cancer. This run has inspired me to focus less on myself and more on the patients of St. Jude.
I woke up around 6:00 a.m., but didn’t start running until 8:15. I do this in order to eat a huge breakfast, drink a cup of coffee, and digest before a race or big run. Since starting this blog and connecting with so many other runners, I’ve come to realize how many people have digestive issues associated with running and I’m able to appreciate my pre-run breakfasts a lot more.
I learned from my last terrible long run that I absolutely have to bring water on anything over 1.5 hrs so I wore a hydration belt and loaded it with a baggie full of dates. Despite the temperature being in the 40’s, I wore shorts and short sleeves because I knew I wouldn’t be cold for long- another thing I learned from past mistakes.
I should have been able to run 7:40 pace pretty comfortably, but with heavy legs and even heavier wind, it took me about 8 miles to warm up. In the first half, I was fighting back the negativity and self doubt that’s been on a rampage in my head these days. But once I got to mile 10, I finally accepted that I was fully capable of completing the workout according to plan.
After the first 20 miles, I knew I still had the 4×800’s. I finished my run by the St. Mary’s track, but it was being used so I had to do my additional speed work on the road. Memphis is flat until you run half mile repeats on shot legs.
The 4×800’s were awful, but I hit them all pretty close to 3:25.
This is how I felt between the two workouts but afterwards, I realized the actual marathon will only be 3 miles longer!
The difference between marathon training and St. Jude marathon training is that this kind is so much more purposeful than anything I’ve ever done. The whole time I was running Saturday, I couldn’t help but think about how painful and exhausting chemo therapy would be or what cancer itself does to people’s bodies, much less children’s. This run woke me up and inspired me to focus less on my running and more on fundraising for the children battling for their lives.
So this week I’m scaling down running in order to amplify my fundraising. For everyone who donates before Friday, I’ll post one of these on my blog to thank you and link to you if you’re a fellow blogger. I don’t care how much or how little it is, even the $5 and $10 donations add up fast!
Are you a mentally tough runner or do you tend to psych yourself out?
What inspires you to run?
What “cause” is nearest to your heart?