I finished Week 5 on Saturday, with a 5 mile run. I am not going to lie, that 5 mile run was really bad. I don’t think I’ve ever looked down at my watch so many times during a run. I waited until too long in the day to run, so it was already too warm/humid, and I was still trying to digest lunch. I didn’t have a good route picked out, so I just kind of looped around the greater neighborhood area aimlessly… but, I finished, and that’s all that matters. Not every run is good, not every run is exciting, but every run is another drop in my jug. The one thing I can take away from this crappy run is a revelation I experienced around Mile 4 (so, a little late in the game). By this point, I realized just how loud the volume was on my internal complaints. It was like my whining about this and that was SCREAMING inside my head. I stopped in a shady patch for a moment to stretch my calf. Why are you running with all this junk? I asked myself. And then realized… I am free to run with nothing. When I made the decision to dial down the volume to zero, my run was very different.
Here we are–Week 6. Week 6 requires a lot of mental work to support the physical tasks that are required during this journey of marathon training. The training plan I am following anticipates that this middle part of the training is particularly difficult, as the excitement of committing to the marathon wanes and the finish line is not yet in sight. Now, more than ever before, positive self talk is the skill to practice. In addition to keeping a watch on the locus of control and staying engaged with visualizations during runs, it is time for another motivator. It is time to write a manifesto for the marathon training.
Yesterday, I took a rest day and, after letting go of some of the frustrations from Saturday’s run (or, perhaps, emboldened by some of those frustrations), I sat to journal my marathon manifesto. I wrote two copies; one is pinned up on the wall right by my bed so that it is one of the first and last things I read every day. The second copy is folded in my wallet, so I can easily access it on the go.
I am a marathoner. I run 4 times a week, no excuses. I spent hours alone, just me and my feet, running distances 99% of people would use a car for. I am STRONG. I do NOT give up. Even when I feel lazy, I lace up my shoes. I run with my heart. I run to be the best version of myself. I am a marathoner. Running is my prayer. The marathon is a rite and honor. I prepare myself each week to partake of the rite. A jug fills drop by drop. I will bring a full jug with me to the starting line on September 29, 2013. I AM A MARATHONER.
I foresee a good week ahead, concluding with a celebratory long run. While it is difficult at times to go out and run again and again, for hours and hours, there is something so incredible about charting distance with my own human body. The sense of awe I am left with after an exercise like that never looses its luster.