September 13th 2018
Today I completed my longest ever run. At just over 26 kilometres (16 miles), it beat my previous best (21km (13ish miles)) by over 5 kilometres. I’ll admit, that when I signed up for the run I originally thought that the distance was 10 miles/16 kilometres, and only last week did I realise that the 16 bit I’d remembered was actually the miles.
Fortunately, I’d been training.
If you haven’t been around for it, for the last 24 straight days (with the exception of yesterday) I have run every single day. Not necessarily in training for today’s run, but it certainly helped.
Ignoring all of the physical strength and fitness I would’ve gained over the last few weeks, what really helped me today was the mental resilience I’d gained. There were times during the three weeks where I really, really did not want to run, but I went out anyway. And that helped me today.
Knowing it was going to be my longest run ever, people asked me at the (imaginary) start line how I was feeling about it. They asked me if I was nervous. And, honestly, I wasn’t. Because what did I have to be nervous about? I knew I’d finish. I wouldn’t have had that mentality three weeks ago.
When I was standing at the beginning I knew that there was no way I wasn’t going to finish all 26 kilometres. 10 miles + 10 kilometres on the end. A half marathon with a 5k tacked on. Whatever way you split it, I knew I could do it.
Don’t get me wrong, other people ran it faster, but that wasn’t important to me. I ran at a pace of just under 6 minutes per kilometre, and I was thrilled with that.
When people ask me, as they often do, “Why do you run?” I always have an answer.
I don’t run because of any feeling I had when I was out there, I run because of how I felt at the end.
I felt pride. I felt like I’d accomplished something. I — figuratively, but almost literally — collapsed in a heap on the floor at the (imaginary) finish line and beamed. Because I did it. The furthest I’d ever run, basically nonstop, at a pace I was proud of.
Until tomorrow, I run for the afterglow.