02 October 2010

I'm Not A Marathoner...

...but I'm getting close. Yesterday my training partner (the unflappable Josiah Rengers) and I hit the pavement at 5:15 a.m. and did our longest training run to date. We're about a month out from the Marine Corps Marathon and, after a shorter long run next weekend, will start to taper in earnest. It's been an almost uniformly positive experience.

What I was reminded of yesterday was how significant the mental challenge of these long runs can be. Before our last one, which was about eighteen miles, I didn't know what there was to be afraid of. Most of my long runs has gone really well, so I approached this one very upbeat. It didn't turn out so hot (stomach problems, caloric problems), and so yesterday I was kind of a wreck early on. It definitely helped to be with someone who's been through all this several times before.

As much as I love the solitude of running, I'd have to say my biggest piece of training advice is to find a training partner you like spending time with. Preferably one who's already an accomplished runner and with the pastoral skills of a soon-to-be priest. Perhaps that leaves a small pool of candidates. I guess I'll just count my blessings, and the last month's worth of miles.

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