Posted on February 10, 2014
On Saturday, I had one of the best long runs I’ve ever had. Everything about it was enjoyable. The pace felt comfortable. My heart rate stayed low. The weather was overcast and cool. The company was awesome and helped pass the miles quickly. Every mile felt better than the last. That is not an exaggeration. I felt more and more comfortable with the run as it went on.
I finished 16 miles at a 9:24 pace. Just slightly faster than last weekends half marathon, and it felt nothing like last weekend.
That’s the thing about marathon training. We train and train and train for race day. Some of us – like myself – have tunnel vision about the race. Every step is about preparing our minds and bodies to go to the distance on race day.
But what if it’s not? What if it doesn’t have to be? Hear me out…
In the last few years I’ve gotten faster. There is no doubt about that. I’ve had a few great races, but more notably, I’ve had a really great time training.
Working with a coach this year has already taught me a lot. Every week I look at my training plan and think “oh hell no, no way”, “an 8-mile tempo run? Is he serious?”. And yet, every week I’m surprising myself with what I’m able to do. I find myself excited at the end of runs. I find myself happy dancing in the middle of the street because I just had fundoing something I never thought I’d be able to do.
My point is this, we can’t always predict race day. Spending 18 weeks and countless hours training for one 4-5 hour event puts a lot of pressure on you that day. So why not celebrate the entire journey? Celebrate the accomplishments, milestones, and the great runs along the way.
From here on out, I’m making a better effort to enjoy my marathon as a journey, not just a race.