“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. When you have fun, you can do amazing things” - Joe Namath
The weekend just gone, for the AFL fan will know that this is probably the biggest weekend on the sporting calendar with the Grand Final. It’s one of BBQs, social drinks, time spent with friends and family and of course football. When you’re training for a marathon, it’s a weekend which goes by like any other really. Regardless of who’s playing and what social event is happening, you’ve got to run!
My family and I spent the day with great friends and by early evening it was time to venture home to get my tired 3 year old and her crazy running mum to bed. With daylight savings starting and a 5am alarm set that night it was imperative I got in a decent sleep for my 30km run the next morning.
Whilst heading home my girlfriends, with wine in hands yelled out “have fun running tomorrow”. The words rung in the air but I didn’t think anything of it until I was about 23 km into my run. It was at a point where I was climbing a steep hill, my running buddy had finished her 10 km stint with me and I was back on my own.
“Have fun”. The words floated in the air around me like a gentle breeze through my hair.
“Have fun”. I thought to myself, is it fun? Am I having fun?
I instantly stopped myself from thinking this, because I thought you love running, you enjoy it so much and now whilst you are training for your biggest marathon you are going to question whether you are having fun. I tried not to overthink it and took it as a mindset challenge during my run and managed to shake it off, Tay Tay style.
The thought entered my head again and I thought, OK I am going to buy into this and listen. And my head ran wild.
Is this really having fun?
Is running 30 km at the end of a solid week of training fun?
I was hurting and I was feeling it as I continued to climb up a decent incline. My initial thought was nope, I’m not having fun in this exact moment. I want it to end. I need to get to the 27km mark and start my strong finish so that I can get home. I want to be standing in my house with my family, relaxing on this quiet Sunday morning.
I grappled with this thought for a fair while and actually challenged whether I was a phony because I was feeling this way. I kept telling myself that this is what you love doing. Pushing yourself to run the long distances, chase your goal and feel great. No matter what I did the element of fun did not appear.
I decided not to be so hard on myself and accept where my mind had taken me. I reminded myself that this is all part of the challenge. If I can overcome the negative and judgemental mindsets that creep in at different times then this is what will make me stronger.
I continued on with my run and pushed into the fast finish to make it home in a pretty good time. And as quick as I could stop my Garmin, the feeling of fun imploded within me. The sense of achievement flooded my head and the sense of personal pride filled my heart. I love this! And I am absolutely having fun, even if it at times it’s being questioned.
Week17 and the distances are climbing. The tempo is increasing and the excitement is building. Only 5 weeks to go! I can't believe it. I am feeling great all round. My training is coming along nicely and despite a few mental hurdles such as this one, I am super motivated and loving the long distances.