It’s time for some BIG MILES, Baby. Get your head on straight.
Marathon training. It ain’t for sissies. It’s time for a reality check. Time to stop and think about life, right?
This is usually when, on those long runs, you start questioning yourself.
Why am I doing this?
This is ridiculous….
I must be crazy.
What’s the point?
I’ve been there. When I was training for my first marathon, I imagined all of the things I COULD have done during the time it took me to do my long run. I could have: gone to the grocery store, cleaned the entire house, done SO many loads of laundry, stayed asleep…the list went on and on.
Was I shirking responsibility? Was I just making an excuse for some time to myself? What was I searching for?
It’s normal, I think, to have these thoughts during long runs. Some people also have these thoughts during the race itself; particularly when there are hardships to be had. Picture race day: nothing is going as you planned, it’s raining, it’s windy, it’s hot, it’s too humid, you’re having stomach problems…there are many possibilities. And in the midst of it, you start to question your motivation. Especially around mile 20 or so.
Why, exactly, am I doing this? What do I think I’m accomplishing? Am I trying to prove something?
When I sign up for a race, I know why I’m doing it. I want a challenge. With marathon training/racing, we all know going into it that it is going to be hard. Isn’t that why we do it? If it was easy, wouldn’t everyone be able to do it? It’s about committing, and following through, no matter what.
So, don’t be surprised when it IS just that: a challenge. And, if that’s what you’re after, embrace it.
I remember a particularly grueling trail race that I did not too long ago. The trail was a mess. It was muddy, full of debris, very technical. I started getting really frustrated about half way through the race. I was muttering under my breath, and my husband heard me.
He looked over at me and said, “You know, you don’t HAVE to finish. You could just quit. It’s not life or death….”
I hate when he’s right. I had signed up for it. I knew it would be a challenge. Why was I complaining? (Still, I do hate when he’s right.)
So, I sucked it up, took the skirt off, and soldiered on.
And that’s what we have to keep in mind right now, as the mileage is peaking. Suck it up, Ginger. Get your head on straight. Remember why you signed up for this challenge. Remember what it is that you hope to accomplish. Get up, dust yourself off, and get to work. Rise to that challenge, and you will succeed.
Run Happy. Run Long.
Amy is a marathoner and triathlete, a mother of four, an Exercise Physiologist and a Physical Therapist. She lives with her husband, Dan (also a marathoner and triathlete), and kids in Lewis Center.