In July it will be four years since I started running. Since I started eating better and making the choice to get out the door every other day to go for a run. And now, in a few months, I’ll be attempting to run my first marathon.
Back when I started with the Couch to 5K app, I started off running for a minute. I looked ahead and saw run for five minutes, run for 10 minutes. How was I ever going to do that?
And now later this week, as part of my training plan (courtesy of my virtual coach, pro runner Grayson Murphy), I’ll be running 14 miles. Then next week it’ll be 16. Yikes.
I haven’t stuck with anything like this since learning how to play bass in my teens. Something that I worked on day after day, week after week. It’s something that I was horrible at (here’s one of my first 3+ mile runs back in 2016), trotting along at a 12:16/mile pace, and now I’m pretty comfortable with it (I ran the 2019 River Ramble 10k at a 8:36/mile pace).
All just by being choosing on most days to go for a run, ease off the cookies, and get enough sleep.
And it’s the hurt. The suffering. Like, I remember some of my races in the second half of 2019, really making the choice to just run faster. At first just for a smaller 5K, because I knew I’d only have to be uncomfortable for three miles, but then later for the 10K. To push into the hurt, sustain a pace, watch my breathing, stay focused and looking ahead, and then… actually hold a 8:30-ish pace? Me?
Mind you, no lofty goals for this marathon coming up. This is my first stab at this distance, and I just want to survive. It won’t be easy, or comfortable, but I want to suffer for all those hours. I already know it’ll hurt, but I’m looking forward to it.