Marathon Training – Somethin’s Missing Alright

Hey! Did you know I have a marathon in less than 4 weeks?

It would be hard to know this, because I’m so out of my training, I hardly even mention it. I mean…I’m training, I’m just not that into it. I’m not excited about the Space Coast marathon the same way I was last year. I’m going through all the motions, hitting all the semi-planned runs at the semi-planned paces, but I’m just not very enthusiastic this time around.

Somethin’s missing alright.

During the 18 miler I (begrudgingly) ran this morning, I had plenty of time to think about what is missing. I spent most of this time listening to Dan Carlin’s The Wrath of the Khans instead, but I did do a little thinking. I came to the conclusion that physically, I’m pretty close to where I need to be. But mentally, something is off.

I think the big reason for my mental letdown this time around is that this has never been on my schedule as an “A” race. I mean, it was an “A” race last year, but not this year. This is the first time in a long time I’ve even done a race I didn’t consider an “A” race. That’s not my usual M.O. They are all “A” races in my book typically, or I don’t do them. And if this were a 13.1, it probably would be an “A”.

But I got a late jump on marathon training because I was focused on Battle of the Bridges. I kept my long run mileage up to 10-13 miles, but I was never pushing through any big hurdles mentally. That mileage was pretty easy for me, and I’m paying for it now that I’m up to 18 miles; I’m not ready mentally to push through these distances.

I don’t have recent experience with overcoming that struggle.

I’m still pushing through and making the miles, but it’s mostly because I’m drawing on past experience and knowing I can get it done. But I’m not relishing that battle the way I typically do.

So I’m dreading every long run, and I’m not even that excited about the mid-week kinda long runs that are relatively easy to knock out. I’m just not that into running at all right now. Right now, all I want is to get this done so I can spend more time on the bike again.

Ahh…and that’s where I reached some kind of realization of a meta-struggle that’s going on. I’m struggling with the fact that I don’t want to go out and fight for these runs. But…I’m going out and doing it anyway.

And although I’m not running as fast as I have in the past, hopefully I’m winning some other kind of struggle here that will pay off more in the long term than winning the struggle of individual runs. Hopefully I’m starting to gain ground in some sort of inner-war of doing something I really don’t want to do week in and week out.

As silly as it sounds, it’s easy to go out and run 20 miles if you want to go out and run 20 miles. Not so easy if you don’t want to do it all all.

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