That's the length of time I need to run this weekend. Two hours. One hundred twenty minutes. I can't remember the last time I ran two hours. I have biked that long. It has taken me longer than that to finish most triathlons I enter. But I haven't run that long in, well, a long time.
How far will I get in two hours? My goal is at least 11 miles. Broken down, that's 5.5 miles per hour, or right around 11 min. a mile. A completely do-able distance and pace in and of itself. But that doesn't include all the pitfalls for me that come with a two hour span of time or an 11 mile distance. So I need to get myself psyched up for this now.
Two hours used to be the "standard" for running our annual 25k, a standard set by the skinny fast people that have always intimidated me. Two hours to run 15.5 miles. As if. (Even in my fastest moments, in another lifetime, the closest I could come to that elusive 2 hour mark was a 2:10.) And the ones who fell short of that 2 hour mark complained loudly about having a "bad" race, using every possible excuse to explain why they could manage "only" a 2:04 or some other unattainable time by the average runner. They brushed that race under the rug, making it seem as if they were unworthy of being called a real runner.
Two hours seems also to have become a turning point in my training in the past. It seems that once I have reached the two hour mark, everything else seems easier--swimming, biking, and running.
Two hours has taken me months to work up to, starting with 2 minutes back in mid-November, eventually getting to 2 miles sometime in December, and slowly, but surely, inching up to an hour, then 1.5 hours, and finally 1 hour 40 minutes. That wasn't bad, so I think I am finally ready for the two hours.
What day to do this? My gut feeling is to get up early tomorrow (Saturday) and get out there and do it. Too many things seem to get in the way of my time and energy if I wait until Sunday. But getting out there tomorrow means getting started no later than 6:45 am, so I can be done, showered, and to a 10 am soccer game. Then I promised a woman from the gym that I would meet her there at noon to "train" her. (That's what I get for trying to be helpful!--I don't mind, really.) After that, I figure I will probably collapse for the rest of the day!