What I Dream About When I Dream About a Perfect Marathon
I dream about that perfect marathon, when absolutely everything goes the way it should go. It's not too hot or cold, I'm well prepared, my fuel is just right, my body is working with no pain like a well-oiled machine, my mind is in the zone just pushing me forward... just a dream, you know...
Then comes the reality. Marathoning is not easy, obviously. It is in the end running a 42.2 km distance. Quite far when you think about what places you can reach within those 42.2 km. Even now, after all my 6 marathons I am constantly amazed that humans can run that far... phew! some much, much farther than that.
It however requires a lot of training and discipline despite some publications claiming She ran a marathon with no training that turn out to be totally misleading, because she was actually a professional athlete for most of her life. Marathoning requires a lot of training. Full stop.
So I train as much as I can. Organising my family life around it. During the week I usually run after dropping of my son at school, then go to the gym when he has his Taekwondo (both conveniently located at the same place). I skip my husband's yummiest waffles on Sunday to do a long run and turned our backyard into exercise, and stretching space. All that training takes a lot of time, time I spend thinking mostly about running, and about running and me.
One day (on a long run) I realised something, quite surprised that I didn't see it from the beginning, that really, to me, the training itself is the goal. Finishing a marathon it's just a reward, a cherry on top to sweeten all my efforts.
Getting up early to go for a run or convincing myself for half an hour (or longer) that yes, I can do it, I should do it, I want to do it is my 'meaning of running'. I'm not saying I don't enjoy or take pride in finishing marathons, I love it too, but I get even more mental strength and confidence from those daily fights with myself.
So I run, as much as I can, following plans or not... just run... and dream... dream about oh, so many marathons. All of them perfect in a way, culminating hundreds of training runs in between that make me better and stronger person.