Tomorrow is long run day; the long run for Week Four of our nine week Melbourne Marathon training plan.
With the course planned, the drink stops organised and the day’s work done I have a few moments to stop and reflect on the long run. The long run is the backbone of marathon training and that part that is strangely as alluring as it is disdainful. But it’s the part of marathon training that most of us love the most.
What I love about the long run
- It teaches me that I can do more than I think I can.
- It has shown me that through running together, strong and beautiful friendships are formed, grown and cemented.
- It has taught me to love myself and has improved my self-esteem, self-respect and confidence; my body isn’t so bad, in fact it can run a long way.
- It shows me that little bit by little bit, distance running is possible even for unsporty types like me.
- I love that feeling of the first walking step at the end of the long run. Magic. A walk of celebration for a distance ran.
- I love being totally exhausted and knowing that I’ve done what I set out to do.
- I love that sweaty, salty feeling that shows I’ve pushed myself to the limits but didn’t stop until the end.
- I love the feeling of finishing and feeling satisfied that I’ve achieved the challenge that was set.
- I love crossing off the plan and knowing that I’ve banked another long distance run in my marathon run bank.
The long run. Distance. As I rounded the corner last night heading towards the silo I was transported back five years. It was completely dark. I was running by head torch. I was transported to a time when running the drive way from start to finish was an unachieved dream. I rounded the corner and those mantras came back into my head Run to the silo, run to the silo! In the early days the silo was one point on the drive way that I would try to get to before I stopped and walked. As I ran in the dark last night I remembered how hard it was to get to the silo, it felt like forever away. My legs would hurt and my lungs would burn and I would wonder if I would ever be able to run 1.2kms all the way. Last night as these memories came into my head I was heading back from a 15km run without any troubles at all. I love the long run and I love all that it has taught me and continues to teach me.
Little bit by little bit we manage to go a little bit further and before we know it… we can run marathons. What was once completely impossible now is possible. 15kms last night? I did that. 28kms tomorrow? I will do that. As I passed the silo I silently said thank you to myself for having the guts to keep trying with running.
NEVER GIVE UP!
Happy running 🙂