While we were growing up, our family made a lot of road trips. We liked to travel and it seemed like every weekend we were in the car going to visit this relative or that. We were fortunate that the majority of our extended family lives only about 1.5-3 hours away, so these quick trips became routine. We were also in the habit of driving long distances for vacations– 5 hours to the Cape every year, or longer trips from New York to Georgia, Florida, or any place warmer than Upstate for Spring breaks. Driving with four kids in any car sounds awful, but for the most part, on these longer trips, we were well behaved. It was the shorter trips where we would scream at each other the whole time. We had a knack for making 1.5 hours in the car feel like a lifetime.

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I was thinking of this while I was running my first five miler last weekend. When I first started running, a feat of three miles, let alone five, seemed absolutely impossible. Even now, when I think about ultra-distance runners, I can’t imagine what it must be like to run that far. I always wonder what people think about. My five mile run went really well last weekend. I didn’t have to stop at all, and I didn’t have to walk at all. I maintained roughly the same pace for the entire time, and I found myself zoning out for blocks at a time. What amazes me is that on shorter runs, for example, my Thursday two-milers, I always am anxious to be done and find myself checking my distance and wishing it were over as soon as its begun. It’s exciting to think that I enjoy longer runs more; it bodes well for my future in the Distance Medley training.

Running is mostly mental. I think that for longer runs, just like longer rides in the car, your mind is more prepared to be doing something for a long period of time. You aren’t expecting it all to be over immediately. I find my longer runs to be more relaxing, and that is something I never thought I would be able to say six weeks ago.

With the B.A.A. 10k just three weeks away, I’m as dedicated to my training as ever. I’m happy to report I haven’t missed a single workout, and I am very much looking forward to my 5.5 mile run this weekend. It’s exciting to go out every weekend and accomplish a distance I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do, while feeling my body get stronger and stronger each week. I guess it’s just pretty cool.