I’m slowly starting to realize that those crazy long runs I have to do for my marathon are starting. So far my running schedule hasn’t been overly demanding, but next week I’ll have my first pretty big run of the season. I’ll take it pretty easy, and I’m in no way running fast. I’m pretty sure people power walk faster than me on a long run. I’m always admiring those runners you pass in the car who have obviously run a long way, but look like athletes doing it. I suspect I look like I’m dying.
I don’t mind long runs. I feel great afterwards, and they give me a chance to think. Believe me, when you’re running for three and a half hours you get time to think. It’s more the prep. I can’t just run out the door. I have rituals. The night before a longer run I have pasta for dinner and I download new music. The morning of I have oatmeal, brown sugar, and blueberries. I load up one full water bottle and if my run is over 28K I pack two power gels. I always wear the same outfit. My socks have to be on perfectly. Deviation from this formula is not allowed.
This weekend I’ll be running 25K. I’ve already mapped it out in my car. Because it’s the first really long run of the season I need extra motivation. I’m starting to play psychological games with myself. I’ll be passing through four communities (Rustico, Wheatly River, Hunter River, and New Glasgow). At the end of my training, when I’ll be doing a 36K run, twenty-five will not seem like that long. I’ve done 25K runs before. On marathon day 25K will only be a little bit past the half-way mark. 25K doesn’t take that long to drive in my car. This will be what will be going through my head for the first couple of kilometers into my run. Afterwards I’ll relax and start enjoying myself.
I’m kind of excited for the run. Beforehand the marathon seemed so far away, but now it’ll start to sink in that it’s coming up. I’m going to start thinking of weeks in terms of long runs rather than dates. I’m going to relearn to love power gels. I’m going to start eating ridiculous amounts of carbs. I can’t wait!