Ask any of my friends, I doubt a single one will tell you that I am a patient person. I graduated college a semester early because I just couldn’t wait to get going. When I started my first position out of graduate school, everyone said, “It will take you a year to adjust,” so of course I had to do it in six months. I start new knitting projects like it’s my job (you should see the pile of unfinished projects). I even have a growing queue of unfinished posts in my WordPress docket just waiting to be sent.
Needless to say, I get bored of routine pretty quickly. So why, why in the world would I run a marathon? Well, the answer is pretty simple: because I can.
The inspiration for this post came from a run I went on a few weeks ago. My first week of training went really well. I finished all of my prescribed runs (a couple of 2 and 3 milers) in decent time, without having to walk. I was really proud of myself! Then I got to week two and I felt like I was going to fall over at every mile. All I could think the entire time was, ‘What was I thinking? I’m not going to be able to do this.’ It was week two and I was already doubting myself. Frustrated, but determined to continue, I went on my third run of the week. It was a 3 mile loop around campus. I turned on my Songza playlist (“Performance Enhancing Pop,” for those who are curious) and started running.
One mile in: Wow, I’m not even sweating!
Two miles: My legs are a bit sore from lifting earlier, but I feel pretty good.
Three miles: Holy crap, I’m done but I want to keep going!
After running an extra quarter mile, I figured I’d better stop and stretch; no point in hurting myself now. As I’m logging the details of my run, I take a look at the rest of the week, wondering why this run felt so different. Then it hits me: My first two runs of the week were at an 8:30/mile and this run was a 9:30. I had been running a whole minute faster per mile without realizing it! No wonder I felt like I was going to fall over. Once again, I had gotten impatient. Even subconsciously, I wanted to push through faster.
This is the lesson I’m learning from marathon training: There is no impatience. Your body will stop you. I have no choice but to settle in and take the slower road to finish this race.