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Over 15 weeks down, less than 3 weeks to go. I’ve been diligent. I’ve stuck to the program. Whatever Pfitz has told me to do, I’ve pretty much done it.
And you know what? I feel pretty good. Over 700 miles into this training cycle and I’m feeling pretty damned good. Not that I was expecting not to, but after logging more miles in the last 4 month than I ever have in any given 4 month stretch, I wasn’t completely sure that my body was going to hold up. But, knock on wood, it has.
I love my training. I love training for the marathon.
But I wonder, am I training for the marathon or am I running the marathon for the training?
I started running two and a half years ago in support of my wife. She had signed up for the Hyannis Half-Marathon, and I just couldn’t let her run it alone. I had never run more than 4 or 5 miles at a time and I knew that 13.1 miles was going to be a long distance (especially in the middle of the winter on the Cape).
In this particular case I was training for the event. I knew that I needed to get in shape to be able to complete that distance. Despite not having a plan, I quickly went from running “0” miles per week to 30. With the half-marathon on the horizon, I kept pushing my distance just little bit with each subsequent run until I finally hit the 10 mile mark in a single run.
That’s when something clicked and I went from being someone who ran every now and then to a runner.
Though someday I would like to, I never did end up running the Hyannis Half. What I did take away from that stretch of time though was having a goal race on the calendar helped keep me motivated to get up and run every day. A few weeks before Hyannis, I ran my first 10K. A few months later I finally ran my first half-marathon. I immediately set my sites on a full and signed up for a fall marathon. The following year, 2010, was filled with almost a race per month. With each of these races I found motivation to keep putting in miles even when neither my body nor my mind wanted to.
As exhausting as the training could be, my soul was happy…full.
My training reached a high point last summer when I became hyper-focused on doing well at the Inaugural Smuttynose Marathon in New Hampshire. It was BQ or bust.
Even though my ultimate goal was to run a BQ at Smutty, I look back and wonder, was I training for the marathon? or had I signed up for the marathon so I would train hard?
In the end, it doesn’t really matter, right? The end result is the same. Whether you sign up for an event as motivation or are motivated to do well at an event, the goal is to do the best you can.
This winter I’m back at it. Training with a vengeance – looking to improve on my time at Boston. Still, I’m not sure whether it’s the goal or the training that’s driving me.
Do you train for marathons? Or do you run marathons for the training?