There comes a time during your marathon training when you just have to hit the pavement and go out for a long run by yourself. Normally I run with a group of fellow runners from House of Running, however this weekend I am attending the Being Limitless experience hosted by One World Academy. Therefore I needed to complete my long run by myself. It’s hard to convince your wife or friends to come with you when its going to take more than 2 hours to complete. Most people have other things to do.
I honestly believe that motivation wears off after a while. You might be motivated to train for a marathon for the first month, when the distances are low or when the weather is nice. But once you start getting into runs that last 2 hours or more, you need more than just motivation to keep you going.
For me, I am hungry, I am hungry for the challenge and hungry to reach the end. Each run is like a mini challenge I set my mind to achieve. I already know I can pass the test, I’ve done it before. But sure enough, you get to the 2 hour mark and your mind starts telling you to give up. That you have done enough distance for today. That you are tired, perhaps you should walk for a bit. But you don’t listen.
There is a satisfaction I get from defying the mind and completing the task in front of me. To get back from the run, knowing you didn’t give up or give in to the self talk is hugely satisfying.
I also enjoy the opportunity to get outside and embrace the beautiful environment in which I get to run. When you’re tasked with running 30km (18.6mi) you cover a lot of territory. On my run today I couldn’t help but appreciate the amazing surroundings in Amsterdam. There are some really beautiful parks and a forest that provides a calming experience while you run. It’s so much nicer than running indoors on a treadmill staring at a wall or TV screen.
Just as I was reaching the 2 hour mark, I was in the middle of the Amsterdam Bos, a large forest area in Amsterdam that is perfect for running. Overhead there were planes coming in to land, one after another. In the space of just 10 minutes, 6 planes flew over me and landed. I couldn’t help but feel motivated to keep running, I was being inspired by the planes flying overhead. It seemed appropriate given the name of my blog.
I choose to think about it as life happening for us, not to us. Happy running!