I’ll admit, training for a marathon is exhausting. I’d much rather stick to the shorter distance–13.1 miles, which is why I’ve been so drawn to half marathons. Regardless, marathons are a challenging experience that I’ve told myself to, at the very least, look into doing once a year. Thinking back, I ran my first marathon last October–Nike Women’s in San Francisco–a race I will return to in just under a month from today. Now hold on a second. I completely forgot what it’s like to train for a marathon. The (very) long runs, the pain in my knees, the sore quads. It’s exhausting and taxing on the body. But most of all? I have found it so difficult to be outside–just running— for hours at a time. I’m not going to lie–it’s just too long for me, and I have had to train my brain during my runs.
Yesterday before my last long 20 mile training run before really tapering off, I found myself dreading the run. Ugh, 20 miles is too long. Oh no, it’s too hot outside. I’m bored of my usual routes. All of these thoughts ran through my head. Finally, I laced up my shoes, threw on my running clothes, and headed out, but not before asking myself a few questions. What am I going to think about while I’m running 20 miles? How am I going to stay motivated to finish 26.2? My answers ranged from telling myself to get lost in the music, to focus on my breath, to let the people around me keep me motivated simply by being there.
What did I actually end up thinking about?
Boy, it’s HOT. And geez, my knees and legs hurt! My sunscreen is sweating off; that’s awesome … not.
Haaa. Just kidding. Only a little.
But what truly stuck in my mind during my run was this: it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. I reminded myself to take it easy during moments of my run, push myself a little harder, enjoy the scenery, stay present, enjoy the moment. Remember why I enjoy running and allow the reminder to keep me going. And what a perfect reminder during this transitional period in my life. Because it’s true, what we’ve heard, right? Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
While running, our bodies are tested. Our minds are tried. We deal with aches, pains, and disappointment. I know I definitely struggle with simply telling myself to keep going. Life requires the same things of us that a marathon does. But what do we gain? Endurance. Strength. Confidence. Will. Don’t quit until the end is reached. There will always be obstacles along the way, but you can either stop, or push through them. But most of all? Enjoy the ride!