There is a small part in the movie where the characters are talking about the trouble climbing is causing in their lives. Jon Krakauer's character then asks, "Why do they keep doing it?" None of them really answer the question except for one guy. I am paraphrasing this, but essentially he says, "because I can." This brings us to my 15 mile run last Saturday morning.
Morning runs will always be tough for me. They are extra hard when you go to bed after 1 a.m., it is chilly in the morning and you wake up to see it's misting and it is crazy windy. I dreaded this run. Training is going well, so I should have had no reason to be nervous.
The run did not get off to the greatest start. I went back to get gloves before I got started. My shoelaces came untied twice within the first mile. I really wanted to turn around and get back in to a warm bed. Does anyone reading this think I would actually do that? I continued to trudge along and feel miserable. I asked myself, why am I doing this again?
Part of the answer to that is because I am training for a marathon. It really bothers me to miss out on training runs. Ask anyone who knows me. When I see them out, they assume I ran there. Things only got worse when I finally hit the path. The mist and the wind picked up, and my stomach turned against me. A lot of people ask me what I think about during long runs. Like I did on this one, I am talking myself through it. An example of something I might say is, "get yourself to this point and you will feel better." That may not be true, but it feels good to say in my mind. On this run, I wanted to get to the turnaround point. Things did not get any better and I still could not answer the question of of why am I doing this right now.
My stomach felt terrible and the wind still sucked. Once I got off the path, things felt better. I think my stomach and I agreed that I only have three miles left and it would play nice. Of course that made the last three miles the best of the run. I finally finished running and now knew why I went running.
I went because this is a run that I will remember on December 6, 2015 when things get tough. I went because I could. There are a ton of other crazy people that would have loved to have been in my shoes. No run or race will always be perfect. I also went because I knew I would feel good about doing it. It is also a good battle story to tell. The funny part about the run I just described, is that it went very well. Things just did not completely click that day and that will happen.
Good luck to all those running weekend. Remember to remember a tough run or two. Use it as motivation and power through. Remember that if you feel terrible at some point during the race, you will be a marathoner once you are done.