A month from today, I will have completed the New York City Marathon. They say the key to training is to speak the future in advance, both in big ways and little ways. Take this morning. When my alarm rang, I woke up feeling just shy of exhausted with a touch of stiff muscles and a dash of a queasy stomach. I had every good reason not to get out of bed for my training run. But I’ve learned that the difference between those who want to run a marathon and those that do is training. Training is about following a plan, even when you don’t feel like it. Training is about doing what you said you would do. Training is about methodically making your way through a regimen designed to prepare you for your goal.
So, today was a great training day. It was great not because I ran at record pace, or that I broke through the pain that has plagued me for the past eighteen months or that I ran farther than I ever imagined. None of those things were true. What is true is I pulled on my running tights and one of my long-sleeved marathon shirts from a past race, laced up my shoes and kept going through the motions while simultaneously ignoring the dread churning inside. I pulled on my Boston Marathon hat and tried to suppress the many reasons not to go out the door. That is what training is about.
I started out slow and my body was shocked by the cold of the autumn morning. I longed to see the sun rise. As I rounded the block, I realized there was something wrong. The running tights I had purchased just six months ago were slip-sliding down my waist and no amount of Spandex was going to stop them. I should rejoice. I found my reason to return home and throw in the towel. Or I could hold onto my waistband with one hand and keep training. I kept training and I grasped my running tights to keep them from pooling around my ankles.
Halfway through my run my stomach lurched and for a minute I thought I would be fertilizing the landscape with what little was left in my stomach. But I couldn’t figure out how I could do that and keep hold of my tights, so I decided to focus on my slimmer body and keep on with the training. I gutted up the last hill and pushed the button on my stopwatch to look at my unimpressive time. Training is about crossing the miles off the list, overcoming the obstacles, and doing what you said you were going to do. On small hint, make sure you plan for a shrinking waistline and scale down your running tights appropriately, but don’t let anything convince you that training isn’t worth every step.
© Kelly Tweeddale 2012