The Long Run


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.


Happy running 🙂


16 thoughts on “The Long Run

  1. Thanks for this Annie – I love that I can with you even if I can’t actually run a the moment. All the best for your training – you have the best attitude!

  2. It’s so reassuring to hear you say how you remember when you couldn’t run 1.2 km but you’re ok with 28km tomorrow! I’m loving what I’m doing just now, but it is a long way from easy and I do wonder how I’m going to manage to run steadily for 5 or 6 hours! But you show that it can b done thank you!

    • Julie you can do it! If I can you can. It isn’t easy. I’ve just been out around our course and dropped off the drinks for our drink stops. As I dropped them at the 5kms to go mark I sent out a wish that by this point I’ll still be running and smiling. Somehow we just keep running and in doing that we meet the person we really are: Strong, capable and able to do more than we ever thought possible!

  3. I am training for my first marathon (Honolulu Marathon in December) and feel similarly about the long run. I am not a “runner” but am enjoying what running is teaching me about myself. I ran my first 10k last winter and never would have thought a marathon was possible! Tomorrow I will run my first 10 mile run- hope I’m up to it! Its nice to hear your thoughts as a fellow ‘unsporty woman.’

    • All the best for your first 10 miles! that is awesome, you will feel so good to have done that. And all the best for all of your marathon training. It’s true what they say, training for a marathon does change the way we think about ourselves, especially for us unsporty types. All the very best!

  4. It must be surreal almost to remember the days of making it to the silo Annie. Your positive attitude is obviously key to your success and love of running. Happy long run tomorrow!

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 that long run didn’t go so well, but I got it done and it taught me a thing or too. My average pace was 7:00 mins/km which would get a marathon done in 4:55:00 – but on Sunday I didn’t have another 14.2kms in me. It was a levelling run that has given me even more respect for what us crazy marathoners try and do – we are indeed a bit crazy as you know!

      • Well my friend it is crazy to do one. To do more than one that is beyond my experience. 🙂 I would encourage you not to be thinking of the whole distance. Each run is all you have to do. Following the training plan the full distance will come. It was one of the tips I followed consistently was never allowing my brain ot get past the distance of the current run or it became absolutely overwhelming. Run in the here and now. You go girl. keep that positive attitude beaming. xoxo

  5. Great post. I have one more 20 miler this weekend (it will be my 5th of this training plan) and I learn something new every time I run the distance. Great reminder to enjoy it and enjoy the fact that my body can do this.

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