When I was training for my first half marathon in 2010, I had to do my long runs with the marathon group because I was trying to ramp up my mileage for an earlier race than what my running club was training for. Because there were so few of us in that group, I did all of my long runs alone - sure, there were others ahead of and behind me, but I never had a running buddy to get through those miles with. Some of our runners used to think about what splurge meal they would have that day, but I would - and I'm sure if you've read my blog for any length of time, you won't be surprised to read this - think about what I'd buy for myself. Once it was a yoga mat...obviously it didn't have to be particularly expensive items, but more like little indulgent splurges. I didn't feel the need to do this once I started running with friends, because I wasn't solely focused on how many more miles I had ahead of me and why was I doing this and OMG WHYYYYY???
But I've had to get through a couple of long runs mostly on my own lately, and Saturday's 11 miler was one of them. I was by myself for the last half of the run, and while I felt fine in that nothing was hurting, it was a huge physical and mental challenge to keep running. I tried to buckle down and not think about where I was in relation to the finish, and that worked for a while...and then I was at mile 9 - ugh. Two miles to go. Two miles isn't a lot, until it's the last two of eleven. I started feeling, well, not exactly sorry for myself, because obviously I'm choosing to
(not my body (HA!) - image swiped from Zappos)
The official name is "BF 7/8" because these are supposed to hit just below the calf. On my short legs, they are full-length, and super comfortable to wear around the house. Nicer than sweats, but cozier than jeans.
I don't always need to reward myself for doing hard things, but I like to have a bribe as an option, just in case I really start to falter. It used to be food, but aside from a cinnamon twist, food rarely motivates me these days. Back when I was dieting, promising myself a new top once I lost a certain number of pounds was a great motivator/reward. I think the act of acknowledging when you are doing something challenging is important, and having a bribe on hand doesn't hurt, either. What say you?