Training for a marathon is quite a specific task, you rack up the miles steadily and do everything possible to avoid injury. However, …………….. we all have days when we are “tested”. When I say tested I don’t mean drugs I mean your mental strength, your spirit, your very reason for running in the first place. Sometimes you just need reminding what you are capable of.
I ran on my own today seeing as that’s what normally happens in a marathon, my garmin watch hadn’t charged and I wasn’t really feeling the love looking at the showery rain out of the window. The last 3 weekends have been 20,20 and 15 miles so my legs have been getting progressively heavier. I think all of this was in the back of my mind as I set off, but …..
The great thing about being part of a club is the number of people you know and I’d only run 1/2 a mile before Paul Stephens shouted encouragement at me from his van. Lifted by this I decided to run a 10k route I have, twice, and then I’d have a rough idea of times. As I was approaching home and the end of the first 10K I was questioning what I was doing ?
My spare drinks bottle was by the front door and I decided to leave my phone with my empty bottle. This was the smartest move of the morning. I already had little idea of the pace I was running but to then have no idea at all just seemed to free my mind. I stopped thinking about miles and measurements, about how I was feeling, about when I might stop, I just got on with it and the negative voices disappeared.
I watched the crops in a field swaying in the wind and thought how much they looked like the sea, I laughed as the sun came out and a shower got me wet, both at the same time. I could feel the wind against my face and that’s always good because you know it will be behind you on the way back. Dave Fleet cycled by and shouted “hello” and most of all I simply started enjoying running in the fresh air and feeling “alive”.
I thought of the comments from Twitter by two ladies, Lou and Kimberley, of them enjoying starting out on their running adventures and that made me think that running in its purest form is an escape from everyday life, freedom if you like, but it’s also the sense of achievement that you gain. After all you only get out of life what you put in. I settled on about 12 miles and averaged roughly 8 3/4 minute miles pace but the best result of the day was finishing with a smile and knowing I’d pushed on through.
When your legs get tired ………. run with your heart.