Getting EGO out of the way
Distance running is definitely my favourite running activity. Watching the miles drop away, the scenery (and weather!) changing throughout, and really enjoying the meditative, aerobic physicality of the long runs. Three years ago, running used to be nothing more than a way to catch a bus when I was late! But here I am, 6 weeks away from my first marathon after finishing my first half marathon half a year ago.
There has been a lot more…depth…in my first marathon training process than for the half. The distances magnify weaknesses, but also strengths. Counteracting the imbalance between the two is part of the process. The competitor in me expects to always do better than last time, but the yogi in me knows that every day you wake up with a new body, so sometimes you have to adjust your intentions. I’m enjoying watching these two personality traits collide and merge.
For the bulk of my half-marathon training I would try to do each run a few seconds faster, while adding a few km each week (LOL I know…*slaps wrist*). 8 weeks before the half I was sidelined with a minor ankle injury for a week. One silver lining (of several) was learning to differentiate my runs. Until I started doing upwards of 18 miles, I still hadn’t internalized this – my ego kept looking for that “better time”. Last Sunday I chided myself for being 10 minutes slower on my second 18-miler than my first…but my perceived effort was generally lower, I was taking steps to go the distance without any injury, and I recovered much faster. I am extremely proud – yet why is it still that the time I do it in is such an important factor in my overall appreciation of the experience?
That’s exactly what the race is for – to set my time record. It’s the process to the PR that I have to get my ego out of the way for. Have faith that the slower miles I’m running, the strides, the hills, the tempo runs, that time the wind knocked me off my feet, running in the snow, the good runs, and the bad runs will all contribute to the goal. And get ego out of the way of that too! A goal is there to give you a journey, the map is yours to create. Sometimes you can take a shortcut, sometimes you gotta stop for gas. (Sometimes your transmission just quits!) My ultimate goal is to be able to finish the marathon without injury, and recover as quickly as possible. Which makes my arbitrary time goal of 4:30 something to strive for, but not get attached to…