I’m training for a marathon. Sort of. I have one on the calendar – the Tacoma Marathon on May 3rd. When I signed up, I already had a 15k and half marathon on the calendar so I figured that I would continue to keep upping my miles from the half until I reached May 3rd. This isn’t the first time I’ve planned this sort of training. This isn’t the first time I didn’t stick to my plan. Truth be told, I haven’t really run much since my half marathon on March 14th. My longest run was 8.05 miles.
I’m the worst at training for a marathon. I have friends who reach out and ask for my advice but it’s hard, it’s time consuming and at the end of each training run, no there is giving me a medal. It’s not about the medal. There’s just something about race day with people cheering you along and crossing the finish line that I don’t get with training runs.
I always have the best intentions when I sign up for a marathon. I’m gung-ho and download a training plan that sounds doable for me. I think “this is the time I’m going to be ready and prepared” and I’m going to run a 4 hour race. The first few weeks I’m good at following the plan and then life gets in the way – it always does. Truth be told, I’ve never actually ‘trained’ for a marathon. I’ve completed 5 so far and my best time so far has been 4:39 which is ok. I’m proud of my marathon times.
I know I will never win a marathon but in my mind, I win every time. I woke up, I got out of bed at an unruly hour, I put on my shoes and I went run 26.2 miles. There just happened to be a few thousand people doing the same thing that day and they happen to be running the same route. And at the end there is a medal.
One of my friends is training for her first half marathon – I’m super proud of her! I sent her text and asked how her training was (I’m good at telling other people to train, I’m just not good at taking my own advice). She responded and said she needed some motivation. I suggested a few tricks I use but I could tell it wasn’t really working. So I remembered I hadn’t checked my run quote for the day (it’s an app I have on my phone that sends me an inspiration quote each day) – it was a good one. “Find a way to enjoy parts of every run. Most of your runs should be mostly enjoyable.” – Jeff Galloway. I sent that to her and I think that was what she needed. Remembering to enjoy parts of the run is something I forget all the time.
Running is exhausting. Running is hard. Running (for me) is more mental than physical. I can always talk myself out of running even after I’m on my run. I think – I could walk but then I think I really want a beer or a glass of wine or a medal. J If I start walking, it will take me that much longer to get my ‘reward’. Finishing the run is the best part. That feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes I run and it feels good, sometimes it doesn’t. I do try to find one good thing to look at, think about, or simply enjoy.
So yesterday afternoon, I went for a run. I chose my SLUR route (South Lake Union Run ~6.0 miles) and I thought about my friend. She said it was uncomfortable…I starting assessing my own run…am I really ‘comfortable?’ Not really. But it was such a beautiful, sunny day in Seattle and I was running fast. I knew I’d pay for it later and I did. I try not to think about the parts that hurt, the part of the run that doesn’t feel comfortable. I think about the feeling at the end…I ran almost 6 miles at average of 9:05 and that was good.