When you look at the numbers increasing by one mile a week, it's fairly simple to rationalize that a nine mile run, for River City Runners and Walkers Club half marathon training, isn't going to be to be too drastically different than the eight mile run. After all, it's only one more mile. And as my friend, Kristen, told me at the onset of the half marathon training, if you can run (fill in the blank) miles, you can run (previous number +1) miles, no problem. This might be the truth, but it feels like a lie, especially in my lower back.
This week, the course felt a little less grueling than last. Longer, yes, but perhaps a little flatter. That's not to say the course was easy. Trust me, it wasn't. Nine miles is no laughing matter, folks. There's not a whole lot of laughing time over 47,520 feet. It's strange too because when you look at 47,000+ feet it doesn't seem like much. I feel like, in my days before running, I'd look at that number and say, 'Huh, I probably walk that in a day.' No, Ghost of Erin Past, no you do not.
The Ghost of Erin Past was very much in the present in between long runs this week. On Tuesday, I traveled to Cleveland to help my parents out around my childhood home. I knew I wanted to take Tuesday night off because the nine miles on Monday were still wreaking a considerable amount of havoc on my lower body. But, in general, when I'm home, I'm a home body.
Besides all the usual comforts of home (food, shopping, entertainment, shopping, friends, and shopping) it was nice to be back and spending time with my folks. One night, my dad and I ran into Target for some last minute items for dinner. In the check-out line I grabbed my favorite candy, Ferrero Rocher, and jokingly told my dad that it would take another few blocks around our block for me to be able to eat that. Then, out of curiosity, I looked at nutritional facts and found that, in fact, it would take three laps around my block, including all three cul-de-sacs on each lap, to make Ghost of Erin Past's favorite treat less impactful on the waistline.
I am certainly not going to tell you that I've been depriving myself of desserts and sweets. That would be a total lie and utterly cruel. But, I will say that once I started seeing the results of my hard work, both on the training courses, and off, it became a lot easier silence the Ghost of Erin Past on decisions of the stomach.
Nothing about sticking to a regimented routine has ever been easy for me. I like change and randomness. I've never been a creature of habit, so finding the motivation to run during the week, is difficult for me. But knowing just how much work goes into seeing certain results has helped my pull my fondness for change into focus.
While I was home I saw a poster in a fitness store that read 'it takes four weeks for you to see your progress, eight weeks for your friends and family, and twelve weeks for the rest of the world. Just keep going.' Listen, whether it's figuring out how many miles it takes to burn some Ferrero Rocher or finally getting back into old jeans, whatever the motivation, I'm going to keep going.