I had to run my one and only 37k run for this marathon cycle last Saturday.
I missed my other two 37k-ers because of my hammy and a badly timed race so I needed to get this done. But come Friday night a little dread had set in. And by Saturday, when my alarm went off (at 3:25) I was trying hard to remember why I profess to love running and who had brain-washed me into thinking another marathon was an awesome idea.
Yes, even die-hard runners have days when they'd rather not get out of bed. Sometimes the distance seems too daunting and the voice of doubt too loud. 37 kilometres is a really long way. It's well over three hours of running. Well over three hours of sweating and having your feet hurt and having bits of elastic that are preventing things from bouncing around too much rub you raw. And that's where my head was when I started.
"37k!! I'm tired already and we haven't even finished the first k. I shouldn't be counting k's already. Should have brought enough money for a taxi."
"Good that's 2 done. Only 35 more to go. Would anyone notice if I cried just a little? Not a big ugly cry cause I couldn't run if I was crying that hard - just delicate little tears running in small rivulets down my face with no actual sobbing."
"What pace is this? Should we be going this fast? Why am I running with the fast boys again? Stupid! Stupid!! Stupid!!! You're going to regret this."
"It's so hard to have a Gaytime on your own. It's so hard to have a Gaytime on your own. It's so hard to have a Gaytime on your own. Bet the person who wrote that ad is regretting it now. Stupid ad. Maybe I should stop and buy ice cream on the way home"
"I think I need a toilet. Will they wait if I go? They have to wait cause I don't know the route and I'm directionally-challenged and I don't have a phone so I could be running around Brisbane lost for hours. Nah I don't need to go."
"Yep, definitely need to go to the toilet. Only have to get to Mowbray Park. Can I hold on for 3 more k's? Oh well, there's always trees and it's still pretty dark."
"I hate hills, I hate hills, I hate hills."
"Yay, the toilet's unlocked. It's the little things ..."
"10k done only 27k to go."
"Feeling better now. Maybe I just needed to warm up. 10k is a long warm up. How fast are we going? I was only planning on 5:30s. Why am I running with the fast boys?"
"I hate hills, I hate hills. That's right I really hate this hill. You think you're at the top, you turn the corner and there's still more hill to go."
"I like downhills!"
"Damn, I thought we'd be stopping at that park. Keep running. Stop thinking."
""It's so much lighter now than when I ran this route last. Summer's coming. I hate Summer! At least I'll be finished marathon training before it gets too hot."
"I thought it was going to rain. Where's that rain I saw on the radar? I wouldn't have worn this stupid cap if it wasn't going to rain. I hate caps. I hate hills, I hate hills, I hate hills!"
"Where's that water stop? Oh up there where that man's having a drink. Hey it's Nige!"
"I hate hills, I hate hills, I hate hills!"
"Longest downhill ever. I love downhills. I love gravity. I love running fast. Oww my toenails are hitting the front of my shoes. I hope I don't get another black one. Not before the marathon. I hate downhills!"
"Active wear, active wear, buying active wear in my active wear. Where's that Lorna Jane factory?"
" Lift up your feet. Lift up your feet. Don't trip over the roots. This is like trail running. I don't like trail running. I like the idea of trail running but I don't actually like trail running. Where's the footpath start again?"
"Finally, some nice scenery. Love running along the river. Ooh there's a runner up there. I think we can take her. I like her top. Nice colour! I wonder where she got it from. Nope, don't like the straps. I knew we'd pass her."
"How come she's passing back? It's not a race lady!! We've already run 26k. You've probably only just started."
"Nearly down to single digits. Yay!! I think I'm going to make it. Hey isn't this near Chester Street Bakery? I could really go for one of their cakes about now. Except that I've only got $5 on me. Wonder if Ian has any money. I'm sure he wouldn't mind a slice of cake. We could split the cost."
"So tired! My feet hurt. My calves hurt. My shoulders hurt. My neck hurts. My head hurts. Of course it hurts. You're training for a marathon stupid! It's supposed to hurt. Just surrender to the pain. Accept that it's a part of the process."
"I hate pain. I hate pain, I hate pain."
"I know where we are now. Finally! Yep, you boys can run as fast as you like. Don't care any more because I can't possibly get lost. Wish we didn't have to go over the bridges again. Bridges are hills. I hate hills."
"Nearly there. Wish I could stop. Nearly there. Wish I could stop. Nearly there. Wish I could stop."
"Last bridge. Last hill. Only 2k to go. I'm not getting off the couch all afternoon."
"And we're done. 37k finished! Great run boys!!"
PS - I didn't leave the couch for the rest of the day. Apart from getting up to go to bed and having a real sleep. And getting up to get food. And liquids. Yeah, it was a great run.