It’s week 10 of the year and it is also week 10 of marathon training. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling shattered. Even if you’re not training for a marathon, it has been a challenging year so far. Nearly everyone seems to have suffered from the flu (Australian or otherwise). Just when we should be feeling all Spring like and getting out in our gardens, we’re faced with freezing temperatures and crazy amounts of snow. I think most people would welcome a bit of normality back into their lives.
As mentioned above, this year’s challenges have been coupled with marathon training for me and a lot of my running friends. It always starts well, we’re all keen to run off our Christmas excesses and the training runs in the first few weeks tick along nicely. February wasn’t too bad either, although we might have felt a bit more tired and it seemed harder to get out of the door. Then March arrived, ramping up the mileage with it, 20 + miles long runs were suddenly in the mix and just to complicate matters, most of us ended up having to clock up the miles whilst battling through the snow.
So why do we do it? Not just marathon training but why do we set ourselves challenges, physical or otherwise? Because if we didn’t we would be just standing still, ticking along in a world where nothing really changes, where our bodies and minds degenerate into older specimens than they need to be and where we might seek out unhealthy methods of escapism.
Keeping on moving and keeping on challenging ourselves helps us to feel alive, it keeps us seeking out new information about how we can improve. It allows us to connect with like-minded people, experience obstacles and achievements together, learning from each of them. We can also turn our attention to something other than traffic issues, terrorism, rising costs etc.
So whilst March is likely to offer more training miles, sorer legs and more tiredness, it is all a stepping stone to lining up at the start line of the London Marathon in the best shape I can possibly be. The challenge is there, I just need to rise to it.