What’s your threshold?

I’ve been meaning to write a post all week, however, work must take priority over this silly little blog and I’ve lacked the time and the energy to write something worth reading. Though I did think about it all week, about what I was going to write about. First, I thought I’d write about the 74 degree semi-long-run I had at a reservoir on my way out of Delaware. It was a run that was so unseasonably hot and more or less a miserable hour and half of my life. Then I was going to write about my longest run ever to date (17 miles, 50 degrees 40 mile per hour winds that nearly blew me and my running group into the Inner Harbor last Saturday.)

However, I’m going to write about my run today. It was a long run that ended up being about 16.5 miles, this 16.5 miles happened at 7:30 am this morning after a 4pm 12 mile run yesterday afternoon/evening. Tired legs gearing up to run a long long way.  This run started out with my group, The Pacemakers, and was a bowtie loopty loop that allowed me to not carry water because I ended up at my car every 4-6 miles and I was able to hydrate, genius because I’ve yet to buy a hydration pack and ended my 17 miles last week very salty and very sick.

The first ten miles were great, we were all chatty, talking about the beautiful morning we finally had, the sun was shining, I was able to wear shorts, (it was 34 when we started but warmed up to about 41…perfect!) The first two lets of our journey felt great. When the third leg began I, among other runners, was feeling pretty good. (I was surprised, I thought my legs would be dragging more, I thought my feet would be hurting–)


Fast-forward two miles. My legs began to drag, my feet throbbed, I went silent.



I could hear Bob’s footsteps behind me. This sound kept my feet moving, kept me from looking behind, kept me from walking, all the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run better run… someone told last night to sing Foster The People to keep me going. ALL THE OTHER KIDS WITH THE PUMPED UP KICKS BETTER RUN BETTER RUN… I was shouting in my head, I had to keep going, I couldn’t stop


—the silent miles had begun.


The Silent Miles: I think all runners hit a point. Not the wall but A Point in a training run where all falls silent. We get so absorbed in our head, our thoughts, our own personal demons and motivations that we go silent. My personal threshold has gotten longer, I used to only be able to go 10 or so miles before I fell silent. I stop talking, I stare straight ahead and concentrate, hard. At this point in my training I’m not really sure what my threshold is, I hit it a bit earlier this week because of the combination of last night’s 12 miles and the run this morning. Fatigued began I even began.

But today’s silence was okay. I’m okay with silence; I still had Bob’s feet and breathing behind me, the road in front of me, and the knowledge that I had a big cup of coffee at the end of the run. I finished 15 miles and ran another loop, on my own, to get in another mile and a half. This is where my personal motivation began to lack, this is where I fell apart and walked a bit. But this is the point that I remembered to listen to my body and remind myself that in the past 15 hours I had put in nearly 28 miles.

My body is broken down, (but not broken) and will rest and recover tonight and tomorrow. The Silent Miles are what make us stronger, they’re what make us realize what we are truly capable of.

Check me out

Post River Bank 25 2009


I’ve never actually seen myself run. I mean, I’ve seen pictures of me crossing a finish line; sweaty, pained face, making a bee line for the piles of bagels and orange slices, ready for a cold gulp of water and a hot coffee in my hands—but seeing me run, in motion, I’ve yet to experience. I’m not so sure I want to.

Many times on my runs I judge and evaluate other runner’s gaits, I think ooooh, she shouldn’t be in that Nike Pegasus. Or look at that guy’s calves…dang! But I also notice the way a runner’s legs move, some bow legged, some knock kneed, some don’t even bend their knees, it looks painful in some ways. All of this observing makes me wonder what the heck I look like. Do I look like a runner? Or do I look like one of those out of shape people struggling through a few miles? Do I run with the look of ease or like I’m about to have a hernia and need to be taken to the hospital?

I try to sneak a peak at my stride when I run by a window-mirrored building in the city. Quick looks over my shoulder. That messes up my stride. I slit my eyes and peer out of the corner. I usually almost trip when I try this method. All I can really end up seeing are my white legs, pink at and black jacket—no form, no method, and no proper evaluation of my stride.


Maybe this is for the better. I don’t want to know if I run knock kneed or bow legged. This way I can go on pretending that my stride is as good as I feel that day and as long as I log the miles it doesn’t matter.


…Though I secretly hope I’m the runner that makes other runners ooooh and ahhhh.