I’ve been seeing this a lot in the communities that I’m on for my fundraising:
“I’m not able to run a full [insert number of miles]. How can I run a marathon? I think I’ll give up.”
For those training for London 2016 we’re all reaching the high mileage point in our training. The period in which you really are spending your weekends running or recovering from running.
Let’s be clear here: THIS. IS. THE. HARD. PART.
How on earth do you run all those miles? How in the world do you think you’ll get over through?
First, and most importantly, right now I want you to change your wording.
You are not running x miles – you’re completing x miles.
You are not running a marathon – you’re completing a marathon.
There is a phrase, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” Think about it – life has it’s easy parts and it’s hard parts. It has it’s ups and it’s downs. Marathons are the exact same way. You’re going to have good training days and bad ones. Highs and lows. You’ll get on the course and the weather could be wonderful or crap. You could end up stuck behind a million people unable to get your pace on track or with wide spaces and plenty of room to move.
But when you say to yourself, “Today I am completing a marathon,” you give yourself permission to experience the race for what it is. To allow the good and the bad, to welcome on positive terms. Because whether you run a marathon, run/walk a marathon, or walk a marathon so long as you cross that finish line you have FINISHED. You have COMPLETED. No one will come and take your medal because you didn’t meet some arbitrary time you set for yourself.
And that’s the thing, we’re our own worst critics. I promise you that years from now someone will look at your medal and say, “Wow! You finished a marathon?” and not “Huh, you finished a marathon in 4:23:10. You must’ve been having a pretty crap day. What were your split times? You know I thought you could run faster than this.”
So this weekend when you are out completing your mileage keep that in mind: You are moving forward. Whether you run it our walk it or both – you will be one more training session closer to your goal.
I promise you can do this.
Honest, I’ve done two and my pace is best described as “sloth.”