The Thoughts Of A Negative Marathon Runner On The Mental Perils Of The Long Slow Distance Run.
I’ve spent this week trying to finalise my plans for the Paris Marathon. On Wednesday I booked the Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris on the afternoon before the race itself. I’ve still to book my hotel for Amsterdam and London after it which is all that’s outstanding now thankfully!
My itinerary for the Paris Marathon is
Thursday evening – Amsterdam
Friday evening – Amsterdam
Saturday evening – Paris
Sunday evening – London.
I’m terrified that the Paris Marathon is less than three months away. My longest run this year has been 11.2 miles and that was extremely difficult. I’m gonna have to go past 13.1 miles tomorrow otherwise the rest of my schedule will be troublesome.
The worst thing about long runs for me is that you’re forced into spending a lot of time in your own head. This should be quality time if you believe the adverts. You should be thinking..
“Shit I’m unstoppable!”
“Shit I’m a force for good in a world full of lazy bastards!”
“Shit, this feels great!”
You try to keep positive with all the inspiration you’ve been drip-fed by running magazines, Lance Armstrong and the Queen but it doesn’t matter how positive you’ve been, one negative thought can completely derail your focus.
“Shit I’m a bit of a cunt and I think I need to piss soon. Why am I doing this?”
As a relatively new runner I find that the biggest difficulty on long runs is detaching myself from this part of my brain that starts and ends with “YOU’RE STILL GOING TOO FAST!” or worse “YOU’RE GOING TOO SLOW AND THAT’S WHY THIS FEELS EASY! SPEED UP AND STOP BEING SHIT!”.
You can’t seem to ever run at the right pace. Much like napping in a sleeping bag flooded with piss, it always feels wrong.
With all of this insecurity in mind, I ran 8.1 miles today.
It was a really great run and I felt positive throughout it.
Running is still a pleasure for me which is why I’m 100% against the “no pain, no gain” refrain. I’m convinced that with the right training it is possible to run a marathon and not experience any real discomfort.
That’s why I’m focused at the minute. My first two marathons were quite painful.
The next one won’t hurt,