Running for four-ish hours (or more) non-stop is seriously no easy feat. Just thinking about it probably makes you feel ill, right? Once upon a time, it did for me too. Well, it’s much, much, more than just running four hours just once. It takes over your entire life, in the best way possible (really).
Taking on such a challenge requires more dedication than I could have ever imagined. I’m still in shock that I’ve managed to do it, really. One of my favorite quotes ever is ‘There are days when I don’t think I can run a marathon. But a lifetime knowing I have’. And after crossing the finish line, it really couldn’t be truer. The pain passes, but pride lasts forever, and has worked hard for it makes it even more special.
It takes at least four entire months of training, where every single day is spent training and staying to the strict plan. The plan includes running, strength training, eating and sleeping, according to a specific program. Even resting is done according to plan.
It means giving up on drinking, changing up your diet, going to bed early, and telling your friends that you are very sorry, but running calls. It means putting yourself and your goals first. It means deciding that you are doing it, and sticking to the commitment you made, no excuses. It doesn’t matter how tired you are or what’s going on that night. You wake up, and you run.
It means training your heart out and pushing yourself to your limit. Although you don’t need to do four hour runs every week, pretty much every week the plan does include a long run which usually takes at least a few hours (2-3). Usually, it’s done on the weekend the morning (that’s when most of us have time) but is also seriously the last time anyone of us wants to wake up.
Once you get used to it though, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. To run kilometers upon kilometers when everyone else is sleeping. To watch the sunrise as your hair blows in the mind and your heart beats fast.
When I was training for my first marathon, I would run approximately 80 kilometers a week, and also work 5 times a week on my feet. My body was completely wiped out, but my heart and soul were filled with passion, energy, and adrenaline.
There will, of course, be days where I felt like giving up and couldn’t understand why I was doing this to myself, but every time after an incredible runner’s high, a new record, or even a thumbs up from a fellow runner would get back on track. A had the goal on my mind and was not going to let anything get in my way.
After so much training and pep for the big event, there truly is no greater feeling than crossing the finish line. After all the sweat, pains, aches, self-talk, and exhaustion, I did it.
The struggle is what makes it so special. The struggle is what makes me feel like a champion, and so, so proud of myself. The struggle has proved to me that I am capable of anything I set my mind to and that hard work pays off.