Don’t expect results to appear the day after you’re finished with your run. Don’t even expect results to appear the week after your first run. Real, lasting results appear a lot later, after you’ve started getting used to running or doing the exercise. When I first started writing this blog, I started out running with a little pain because I couldn’t run as fast or as long as I’d liked. I was running low miles at a slow pace. In the first few months, I managed to trudge slowly to a point where I ran a marathon for fun and ran 62 miles in 12 hours. I still have a long ways to go, and after that race, I dropped down again because I used a lot of energy to run that race, but once again, I’ve trudged up (starting a little higher than before) and am currently at a position where I ran a marathon for fun on a treadmill, finishing at a faster time than the marathon in Nashville, and am confident that I could run further than 62 miles in 12 hours.
I won’t be able to prove that unless I do it… but I’ll save that for the 50 mile race coming up in October. I have 32 more days to get ready for this race. Normally, there would be a tapering period of 3 weeks, where I’d have to ease up my training, but I’m training my body to be able to get to the point where I can run 50 milers whenever I felt like it. Right now, 20 milers are nothing to me, as long as I have enough to drink and take breaks when I feel like it, but 50 miles… it’s going to be hard. I’m not quite at the point where I can do 50 milers with ease, but this weekend, I’ll be going out for a couple long runs and we’ll see what that’ll do. Dividing up my runs during the day gets the same results, but helps me recover because I can stop and eat and drink between them, allowing my body to get the energy it needs.
Although I want to hurry up and get to a point where I can run nonstop for miles upon miles, it’s not going to happen overnight. Because of that, I need to work with what I can do, which is doing the miles in one day. I have a water-pack that I can carry while running, but with the miles that I’ll be doing, the smartest decision is to let my body slowly get used to that. Eventually, I’d like to be able to run 50 miles with just a pack on my back, eating a few energy bars while on the go, but I can’t make that happen overnight. I need to realize that my body is human and can’t fly up to the top of the mountain. I need to take steps towards the top in order to get there.
With the cycling that I’ve been doing (16.13 miles in 59:51 on the way to work yesterday… didn’t cycle back home because I was looking for a car and needed to stop at the bank and so got a ride), I’ve been able to work my muscles out without causing unnecessary pounding on my feet. I’ve also built a little tolerance towards hills because riding a bicycle up a hill forces me to raise my legs higher and push harder. I’ve noticed that running up hills aren’t as tiring as before due to the fact that I’ve trained my legs to ‘cycle’ as well as leaning forward so it feels as if I’m almost floating up the hill. I’ve always had a hard time with hills but cycling to work has really benefitted me. I’ve also felt less pain around my shins because I’ve been adding quite a lot of miles on it, always straining it and not allowing it to recover. Little by little, the pain has been going away because of the training (both on and off the bicycle) and eventually, it just disappeared. With great patience comes a great reward.
If you truly want something and really want to achieve your goals, you need to be patient and continue to work towards your goal, even if you don’t see any visible confirmation that you’re improving. You just have to realize that if you wait long enough and look back at where you were, you’ve actually improved and the patience becomes all worth it.