Many people have asked all the questions since learning that I am training to run my first full marathon in February. Are you crazy!?! Why are you running that far!?! How many miles is a marathon? But for myself, the questions are much more in-depth and I find myself asking them OFTEN these days.
When I first decided to sign up for my first full marathon it was to be a step towards the next decade of my journey since my marathon falls just a little over a week shy of my 40th birthday and I also wanted to just do it, to have the runner high from completing my first marathon even if I decided to never run another one. Training officially started a few months ago, but I was in the midst of finishing out my 2013 half marathon season and dread began to set in because I was running against the clock every week and I knew that in February it wouldn’t just be the clock that I was running against anymore. I would be running against hunger, hydration, fatigue AND the clock.
So over the past several weeks I have thought a lot about my marathon and training for it and I MEAN A LOT! Restless mornings of waking up and telling myself that I need to be running. This morning I came up with 4 truths to get me through the next four weeks of training ahead . . .
- You can only do what you can do with what you have. Yes, training runs are about making time, I am well aware of that. But today I resolved that on days that I need to get certain mileage in that I will get in what I can in the morning and finish up the rest in the afternoon if I must.
- I am running this marathon for myself not for anyone else. Beating myself up about how I finish and in what time is my business and ultimately the race is just about finishing. Stressing about it now will not make the next four weeks any easier, mentally or physically.
- Stress of a marathon will make or break a runner. Running is NOT just a physical sport, it is far more mental. I know that I am in love with distance running, but I have also resolved that I love the half marathon distance, PERIOD.
- Do not fear the challenge, fear the failure. Above anything else, I am and have always been afraid of failure, on a personal and professional level, but these days on a runner level. I know that failure is not an option and it’s ok to fear the distance planned for me in several weeks, but to let that fear consume me is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE.
As I set out the next few weeks, I will keep these truths with me and use them to keep me committed and on track and above all kinder to myself to know that at least I gave it my best effort and as a runner that’s the best we can give and still love our sport.