THOUGHTS ON LONG DISTANCE RUNNING

Hayley Warnes Lifestyle Blogger training for the London Marathon

Ahh running. As the training weeks tick by (I’m on week 4 – can you believe it!?) and the sessions are completed and crossed off the plan, I am beginning to feel more and more like a runner, an actual runner. Meaning, not just that I run therefore I am, no – I have caught myself… looking forward to my next run? Thinking about it and anticipating that avalanche of endorphins, that feeling when you’re out there, crushing it. The metronomic beat of your footsteps, simultaneously calming and yet energising you, making you feel like you could run forever.

I know, I wouldn’t ordinarily believe me either but it’s true. I’m having a mad love affair with running.

As with any sport, you learn so much about yourself when you’re out there in the trenches. It really is true that the miles change you, especially the tough grit-your-teeth-and-get-on-with-it miles. They all count though, each and every mile on each and every run even the ones where you’re slow, the ones that get cut short, the one’s where you get overtaken by someone with twenty years on you. All of them, they are ALL miles deposited in the bank of legs and come race day, you’ll be drawing out every last one of them. I’m lucky in that because this is all new to me, I’m feeling the gains coming on fast and strong, they’ll plateau out in time but for now I’m riding high on getting stronger and faster each run.

I’m also learning that in order to run successfully within a group i.e get fitter and find enjoyment in it, it’s imperative that you focus only on yourself. It’s so easy to look at someone else and think ‘Oh my god they’re making this look easy, why do I not feel like that? Oh shit, I feel terrible, this is really hard work…’ and before you know it, you’ve completely spiralled. The same also used to happen to me if I was at the back of a group, even if I was running at the same pace as everyone else, being at the back mentally ruined me. I had to be up front otherwise I was failing, dropping, struggling. Now I’m not 100% on this but I can pretty much guess what that says about me and my somewhat fragile ego. Anyway, it’s made me realise that running even in a group, is a solitary sport and the only thing you should be focusing on is yourself, maybe the scenery but definitely no other runner.

You do you, boo. 

Unless it’s a race and then it’s totally acceptable to focus on picking people off one by one using that old tried and tested imaginary cord method – that’s a lot of fun!

What have you learnt about yourself whilst running?

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