The long run is a staple of any marathon training program. It is a weekly opportunity for you to prepare both your body and mind for the stresses that 26.2 miles puts on a person. For me the long run is also a spiritual experience, it is my church providing me a chance for my mind to focus on something beyond the troubles of this world by not only pushing my body but also experiencing the beauty of the world around me.
The demon that you can swallow gives you it's power, and the greater life's pain, the greater life's reply~Joseph Campbell
When explorers ventured off the European mainland they would have to bring a cartographer, a map maker, along who was to plot out the new locations and place them on a map in relationship to known locales. For an area that was not explored the cartographer would embellish the map with images of sea monsters and dragons to warn future explorers that this area is unknown and the unknown is to be feared because here be dragons.
I've had a difficult time calling myself a runner when I first started. In fact there were times that when I would use the word I would feel like a fraud.
There's something I need to admit to everyone--I'm a planner and control freak. Now for some of you this may be a shock because I play it off as if I take everything in stride--no worries. One of the reasons I can play it so cool is because I plan--I prepare--I anticipate various outcomes so that I am ready--I am in control.
I like to think of Lydiard's idea as very similar to Malcolm Gladwell's concept of 10,000 hours. In Gladwell's book Outliers, he lays out the premise that there are no experts born into a certain field, but rather to become a master at a particular skill, someone has to spend around 10,000 hours of preparation to become truly great. Now greatness and success are relative terms that some define through society's lenses and others based on their individual goals.
But I can't kick this idea around anymore--I want to run the Boston Marathon. Let me rephrase, I want to QUALIFY for the Boston Marathon. There's something about that race....ask anyone in the racing community, there's an air, a mystique that draws you in, hypnotizes you and makes you feel like you can accomplish anything.