Here I go again with the Long Slow Distance running. Despite my absolute despising of this running modality (no really, I didn’t watch one single endurance event during the Olympics telecasts, not even the 10K swimming so there you go) I still have a subscription to Runner’s World. Why on earth?
I just figured it out myself. Bear with my convoluted explanation. There are many articles that I do find very interesting and helpful. There are recipes that although a bit high on the unhealthy carbs side are yummy nonetheless…and listen after running bloody marathons I wouldn’t be trying to keep it Zone compliant, pass the ice cream gallon bloody now, so I can’t blame them so much for the “carbo-loading.” There are great reviews on apparel, gear, shoes, and all the rest. For the most part they offer pretty good tips on running technique. But mostly I subscribe for the inspiration. There I said it.
It’s like Suisen says: short distance is physical, long distance is mental. Through the reading of articles about running I think I have gathered that a lot of people get into running long distance, especially as adults, to overcome something (a disease, a bad marriage, a physical disability), to honor someone (a partner, someone who is no longer among the living), or to help others through raising funds or awareness for charity. That to me is pretty inspiring. It also makes me look at LSD runners with less contempt. Ha ha!
Taking a cue from Medals4Mettle I have decided to run the Nike half marathon in honor of someone whose life I appreciate and miss a lot: Smokey. So what if it will be more walking than running because of the myriad medical issues (confirmed today through another doctor, f**k). What matters is that I will remember Smokey with each step I take. After all his struggle on that fateful night was so much worse than any little pain or discomfort I may experience during the half. Running will be my way of saying: here’s what I did to recognize the pain you went through baby boy. The Tiffany necklace awarded at the end of the race will be put next to his ashes and the Buddha figurine that accompanies him in his sleep by candlelight (thanks Ria!).
From Runner’s World here’s an inspirational countdown that a pacer does during her group runs (entire article here). Use for the last six miles or segments of any race for any sport, event, illness, what-have-you:
Mile 6 – This is where we start taking the race one mile at a time. For each mile focus on something. For this one your focus is on the reason you are in this race. Is this a race qualifier, a dare from a friend, a personal best?
Mile 5 – For this next mile, I want you to focus on all the work that you have done to get here, and how it’s all paying off now
Mile 4 -For this mile let’s focus on the personal support system, on our families, friends, children, parents, pets…everyone who has helped you over the past few months. Give them a silent shout of thanks
Mile 3 – Almost there. We all have a personal hero, someone who has been through something so much harder than a marathon. let’s think about what they got through and use that strength
Mile 2 – Jut two miles left. Remember a time in your life when you demonstrated great strength in some other arena. Tap into that strength now. You are about to achieve something special
Mile 1 – Last mile! You are going to do it! Every step at this point is erasing that distance to the finish line. You have worked so hard and you are not going to lose it now!