Saturday this last weekend, we ran 21 miles. It was fun. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would have put together a 21 mile run and also called it 'fun' I would have told them they were crazy. Still, there we were, trucking along the old familiar route out along the Willamette. I had a much stronger finish than I had a mid-section run. My mile 15 to about 18 was bogged down with heavy thoughts of fatigue and failure. Here's what I did to get over it:
I started counting my footfalls. 1, 2, 3, 4... as the right foot hit the ground. All the way to 100 and then over again. When I was sure I had hit at least 500 (more likely 700 or 800) I started counting the number of footfalls on my left foot.
Maybe this seems silly, tedious, boring, but it was just the thing I needed to distract me from my fatigue. By mile 19, I was feeling strong again. I ran the last few miles smiling and was happy to finish sure-footed.
Morale of the story: sometimes monotony prevails!