#SuperLongRunday and an Awkward Reminder on Body Image

Today’s long run, in summary:
Plan for today’s run: 12 miles at 10:28/mile
Goal for today’s run: it’s 88% humidity y’all. First half: easy pace by feel, second half at or under plan pace, try for some race pace miles
Route: Piedmont Park to Decatur via the Eastside beltline, Freedom Park Trail, Candler Park, and Ponce // out and back // 655 ft elevation gain
Result: first 6 miles at 11:10/mile, last 6 miles at 10:21/mile, 2 miles at race pace (defined loosely as anything from 9:00-10:00/mile, or sub-Oprah pace)

I really don’t do well with negative splits, so this was a focus for today’s run. I was able to do pretty much everything I set out to do, although running 11 minute miles in the first half isn’t doing anything for my confidence. I’m thinking it would be helpful for me to start incorporating some faster long runs into my training. There’s a half marathon in Atlanta in two weeks, and I’m considering running it as a faster-paced long run.

Have any of you had success with running half marathons as up-tempo long runs during marathon training?

Lesson learned from Creepy Guy in Freedom Park
On another note, I haven’t written about body image at all, but being in Miami a couple of weeks ago triggered a self-criticism bug seemingly out of nowhere. I’ve been having to repeatedly remind myself that I’m not a gym rat or a professional distance runner with 10% body fat, 6 pack abs, and mile long legs. And that’s ok!! I’m training hard and eating healthy about 75% of the time. (I should probably bring that percentage closer to 90%. I’ll work on that.)

Recovery

Today’s long run recovery: homemade pizza, beer, cuddling with my cat

In this heat and humidity, wearing a tank over my sports bra really wasn’t an option for the long run, not as much as I sweat. (Post-long-run or jumped in a pool? Impossible to tell.) Anyway, as I glanced in the mirror on my way out, I surveyed my softer-than-I’d-like midsection and actually considered for a moment if I should stop eating pizza and drinking beer. Pizza and beer are some of my favorite indulgences, and I am sad to admit that this was a sincere thought. I shudder that the thought ever entered my mind.

Fast forward to my run, as I was passing a guy on the trail in Freedom Park, he made a creepy comment about liking my appearance. And I’m embarrassed to admit I kind of appreciated hearing it while in the midst of a body-image-slump. Creepy Guy in Freedom Park reminded me in his creepy way that beauty isn’t limited to the leggy distance runner physique that I covet at times. It’s about being healthy. And strong. And happy. I’ve worked hard and come a long way in all of those areas, and I’m sure many of you have done the same!

So – my takeaway for myself and maybe some of you – treat your body well, and be happy with it. Embrace the soft spots! They just might be a reflection of good times laughing and having beers with friends, or the super awesome kid you brought into the world. While I’m not advocating being unhealthy, overeating, or being sedentary, let’s all remind ourselves to focus on the process of being healthy, happy, and strong. It sure beats nitpicking how your body looks in a swimsuit or comparing yourself to others.

Have a great weekend!!

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