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No Long Ritual No Long Run

Sunday, September 02, 2012

I don't know if everyone is this way but once I get past the half-marathon distance in marathon training I really have to prepare myself physically and psychologically if the run is going to happen. Yesterday I wanted to run 16-20 miles but with the rain from Isaac I decided to stay in and run Sunday. Each change in plans like this for me usually means it is less likely that I run. -Got up today 5:30 AM and procrastinated until 7...another change in the plan, garmin was dead another change...you get where this is going right? Well I did head out at 7 and could only get myself to run 1.5 miles and then walk back home in the rain. emoticon I was upset and frustrated but this is how it is for me. The long run mentality can be fleeting (pardon the pun) and at times elusive.

People sometimes think people who run marathons are more disciplined than others or have some sort of unstoppable exercise motivation. Well, I am here to tell you that is not the case. I have to prepare mentally all week for a long run (and REALLY prepare if it is a 20 miler!). I have to get in my mind that I am doing this. I have to take it fairly easy and hydrate the day before. I have to get clothes, fuel, lights, water bottles, garmin, ipod, glide etc all ready the night before. There can be no chance of an uncharged ipod or missing favorite sock. The slightest snafu can totally throw me off and jeopardize then chance of the run happening. I need to dress and leave the house fairly quickly. It is best if I am meeting someone. I need the accountability and it also make the miles go faster. I need to have checked the weather the night before to mentally prepare for whatever conditions I will need to run in. What I am trying to say here is that there is a quite long and detailed ritual that readies me to face the daunting long run. I wonder, is anyone else like this? I can't just go to bed the night before at whatever time with no thought about the run and get up and do it. It just doesn't work that way for me.

I am going to try again tomorrow. Signing off now to go look for that body glide and make sure my gadgets are all charged. -Karen
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So glad I found this blog.

    Count me in the category of those who thought all long distance runners take to it with a discipline and sense of purpose that is unflappable.

    Suppose I hadn't given procrastination much thought. I am always absorbing information about running - specifically, marathon training, and reading about all these (mostly) super motivated folks. I just assumed everyone was chomping at the bit and ready to run, every day.

    Like I am. I just don't think about it. It's something I wanted, made up my mind to do it. And here I am, ready to go every training day, and in fact, I have to force myself to stay in on my off days!

    I will admit, I am retired and have a bit more time for this stuff than most. But, then again, being retired usually comes with being old, which I am as well. So the energy levels and recovery times are not the same as with a younger athlete, which might make one more inclined towards procrastination.

    So, yes, we're all runners, but have different approaches to how we train.

    A very eye opening blog! Thanks.

    3210 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2035636
    I sure hope you got your run in today .
    3211 days ago
    Hope the run goes better today! I am the same way. I've only run one full, but it was a bigger mental challenge than a physical one.
    3211 days ago
    You are so right about the ritual. For be it begins the night before. Lay out my clothes, just so. Fill my water. Set up the oatmeal to be cooked when I get up. Set the alarms ... yes plural. Day of - dress, eat oatmeal and a banana, if I don;t ea that my run is blown, out the door and the first lap is always the same because it is so familiar I can do it with my eyes closed, or so it seems.
    3211 days ago
    It is definitely a one size does not fit all world!
    I have never run (or even considered) such a long run...
    But I am all about being organized and knowing what comes next.
    I am not about any kind of surprises!
    I also need to do whatever kind of work out it is, in the morning...
    As the day wears on, my motivation fades!
    Thanks for sharing your story and I like knowing that I am not the only 'quirky' one out there!
    3211 days ago
  • HEIDI-25
    I have to mentally and physically gear up for a long run as well. The mental part is a huge part of the equation and being prepared in advance helps with it. You are most definitely not alone in your thinking and excuses. I have a goal to finish my first marathon so it is easier for me to make myself complete the long run to ready my body to finish. I am going to do half marathons after this. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time and while I like to run, the time spent and the mental and physical stress is much less with half the distance.
    Here is hoping to a good long run for you this week!!!
    3211 days ago
    Sorry you didn't get your run in. It does make a difference to have everything ready.

    Hopefully you are able to run tomorrow! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3211 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8113065
    I am always fascinated that people who can share a passion for the same activity can still have such varied and sometimes opposite likes and dislikes concerning that activity. Your blog is a perfect example.

    Granted I've only run one marathon, but during the training for that race I developed a real liking for that long run. Although I am not training for anything at the moment, I still do a long run every weekend. I enjoy them so much that I was tempted to do a long run this Saturday, even knowing I was running a 10K on Sunday. I settled for a short 4 mile run instead. But, since tomorrow is a holiday.........

    I can certainly relate to all of the excuses for not getting out the door; missing socks, Garmin not charged, no clean running shorts, etc. etc. but those are my midweek excuses for getting up early enough for my short runs.
    3211 days ago
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