I’ve recently read Haruki Murakmi’s What I talk about when I talk about running and as a long distance runner myself, I am in awe of his dedication.
My commitment to the sport is far from Murakami’s one hour daily run, but I try to get out at least two to three times per week and at least do one long power walk. During term time I have the luxury of a perfect one hour walk to one of my schools, with 30 minutes of uphill walking.
After my somewhat disastrous half-marathon in May where I had felt really good the weeks leading up to the race and I was sure of a new personal best, finishing three minutes above my PB I felt disheartened for weeks after. You have invested a whole lot of time and training to reach your goal and when you fall short it is not easy to put it behind you and start over. Especially when you think you could have done better, even though you also know you did your best for what the body could preform on that day.
When I haven’t signed up for a race, I’m usually a bit less committed to my trice weekly runs. But just like with my writing, I do like to plan my training so when I’ve signed up for a race, I sit down and think about how/where and what to run. This past summer I’ve done three 10k runs in the Royal Parks of London, a perfect distance once a month over the summer. Technically I can finish a 10k run without much extra or planned training, but somehow it feels more official if I make an actual plan for it. To order my mind and my schedule.
Running is a bit like writing, if I don’t know where I’m going or how far I have to go, I often fall short of my goal. But give me a chance to make a good, solid plan, even if I fail to reach my goal, in the end I will recover much faster from the defeat.