“People DIE running marathons.”
These comforting and heartening words were spoken by a student of mine, along with the not so subtle intimation that people who run marathons have something wrong with them.
Just the support I need as I mentally prepare to run my longest run so far — 9 miles this weekend. 9 miles all at once. Continuously.
Up til now, I have been on par with my week four training. Hell, in immediate and direct contradiction to my very last post, I even ran outside twice this week,once for 3.5 miles, and the next day for 4.75. It’s actually quite motivating to run outside because if you stop running, you get really cold, really fast. But I also felt like there was something there about mettle that I have to keep testing to make sure I’ll have what it takes to run 26.2. I can’t be a wimp.
But I confess, I am very nervous about this 9-mile run. A part of me keeps thinking about how 9 miles is three times the amount that I am most accostomed to running. Then I remind my self that I ran 7 miles only two weeks ago, and 9 miles is only 2 more than that. But I also feel this kind of pressure, like this is my first true test for running endurance. If I can finish the 9 miles strong, I will have a LOT more confidence about my ability to make it through to the end. But if I struggle though the 9 miles, I am going to have serious doubts. It will be a mental setback. And marathon training, according to both of the books I am using as my training guides, is as much a mental game as it is a physical challenge. I know I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself for one long run. I also know that all of the work I have been doing up until now is preparing me for this challenge.
There are two corny things that one of the books recommend to mentally stoke me for the marathon. One is to tell all of my friends, fam, loved ones, etc., to ask me if I am a marathoner, so I can say, “Yes! I am a marathoner!” I kind of blush/cringe/squirm at even the mental conjure of this verbal transaction. So please, don’t.
The other thing is for me to create two imagined narratives. One, where I am mentally reliving my best run, and the other, where I am picturing myself crossing the finish line triumphantly. They leave out the imagined narrative where I am swinging in a hammock hung between palm trees, sipping a drink out of a coconut while Bjork massages my tired quadriceps, although I do suspect that mental reverie would elevate my mood no matter what circumstances I found myself in.
9 miles. This Sunday. Will it be indoors or outdoors? Time will tell.