Good morning and happy Thursday! I am so happy that this week is moving by quickly. Only two more days until the weekend!
I had to mix things up this week with my training for a few reasons – my long run is always scheduled for Saturday, but we are going to be traveling in the morning on Saturday. I know I could either get up super early and get the long run done first, or run when we get to my parent’s house, but I also know that after a week of band camp I will be motivated to do neither of those things.
Next Saturday is our wedding, and I am scheduled to run 16 miles that day. We will be heading up to Grand Rapids for all the wedding prep on Thursday, and I want to make sure I get my long run out of the way before the wedding madness begins. This means that I will have to run my 16 miles on Wednesday next week. Since I’ll be running long so early in the week next week, it was ideal for me to move my long run earlier this week as well.
I had an appointment yesterday and had to miss the day of band camp, so I figured I should take advantage of that free morning! I ran my 14 miler for the week yesterday morning on my favorite trail by my parent’s house.
While I was running, I got to thinking about the process of marathon training and how humbling it truly is. As I headed out for my run, I was thinking about how it will be such a feat to accomplish 14 miles. At this time in my training, it really does feel like that! I’ve run quite a few half marathons this past year, but haven’t run much more than 13 in about a year. Yesterday was the first time breaking that barrier since last summer!
Once I got started on my run, I slowly started to overwhelm myself with thoughts of the future runs I would need to complete, and even just adding two miles to the long run distance next week. As I was finishing up my 14 miles, I kept thinking that there is no way I can run any further. I felt like I was capable of completing this run and it wasn’t anything too gut wrenching, but I really couldn’t imagine having to keep going past 14.
This is when I stopped my thoughts and had to remind myself to stay present in the moment – focus on the run. Marathon training is humbling in the fact that each long run feels like such an accomplishment, but then right about when you are feeling too proud, you cross that run off your training plan and notice that you still have quite a bit more distance to go.
Having run 4 marathons, I always find myself feeling cocky at the start of a training plan. I think to myself that it’s okay if I miss a run, or have to chop some distance off a long run, because I have done this before. I begin to feel that I could run a marathon with just a few weeks of training if I really had to.
And then I head out for my long run.
It is so humbling to come back from a run, feel like you have accomplished an enormous feat and there is nothing greater than you could have done, and then realize that you still have weeks and miles to go.
Somehow, we all manage to make it through the training. No matter the distance, I find myself at the end of a long run each week thinking there’s no way I could run any further. And then I do. The next week I add two miles to that distance, and then think that there is truly no way I could run any more. And then I do.
What I love about the marathon is that each week we surprise ourselves with our capabilities. There is nothing more humbling, inspiring, confidence building, or satisfying than a marathon training cycle. Our bodies are capable of so much more than our minds can imagine, and all it takes is a little bit of diligence, dedication and hard work to prove that.
Happy running, friends! I hope your Thursday is off to a terrific start!