Perhaps this is normal for everyone, but it seems to me that over time, the more often I travel a long distance the shorter the journey feels.
Take the adventure that was my prom dress. Since I started high school I knew the dress I’d want. I was determined to find the dress of my vision, and never considered any other style. Unfortunately for me, Titanic was released just before prom season, and it seemed to me that EVERY SINGLE STORE thought that we all wanted to look like Rose Dawson.
It took forever, but I finally found the dress I’d been hoping for. The problem was, it was an almost 2-hour round trip to get it. And since I could only afford it if I made payments, I had to make the trip 3 or 4 times. The drive from the highway to the store was at least 30 minutes by itself, and by the 3rd time I was making the trip I remember thinking, “What kind of crazy am I for driving all the way out here for a prom dress?”
Fast forward about 4 years. I’ve met and started dating Jay, and his boss at the time needed him to drive out to his place to pick up something. I went along for the ride, and as we were riding I had vague memories of making the drive before. It wasn’t until we passed the dress shop that it dawned on me – his boss lived about 5 minutes from where I bought my prom dress. A new thought entered my head: “Who on earth would want to live all the way out here?”
It’s not hard to see where this is going. Jay and I lived near the homes we lived in when we were dating for a year, then moved out west. Like his boss, we ended up about 5 minutes from the dress shop.
The funny thing is, now that I live out here that 30-minute drive to the highway feels like nothing. I don’t think too much about it, I don’t feel like it takes forever. The same thing with the drive to my parents’ house, about 5 hours away. The more I drive it, the more it just becomes “the drive,” and less of an extended journey. It still takes 5 hours, and it’s still a 30-minute drive to my house from the highway. But after making the trip so many times, it just doesn’t feel as long.
I’m finding this theory translates into my running too. I’ve started stretching the length of my runs about a mile or half a mile every weekend in preparation for my half-marathon, and I’m up to almost 6.5 miles. I’m attributing the unexpected success of these runs to the consistency of my route. I run the same trail over and over and over, every weekend. When I want to increase the distance, I add the extra mileage to the front of my route. That way at some point during the run I’m back on a familiar path and the rest of the run seems to fly by.
I’m not sure this tactic would work for everyone, since the same scenery run after run can get a bit dull after a while. In truth, whenever I run with Julia (about 2.5 – 3 mile runs), I like to mix it up to make things more interesting for us both. But for these longer stints, I’m finding the longer I run the route, the shorter it becomes.
Hopefully this will work a bit longer, I’m hoping to be at about 9 miles before my 13.1!