Marathon Training: The Weekly Long Run

OK! Reality check it’s 6:15 a.m., it’s freezing, and I’m jogging. Absolute stupidity. Add to this, a neon tracksuit, gloves, and a beanie.

Now, I’m scaring myself. Add to this, the fact that I’m singing “Barbie Girl” and you get the impression that I should be kept in a straight jacket for the rest of my life, never to be seen or talked about in society again.

Some time passes until I see someone else. Well, for starters, that dispels the thought in my mind that overnight, a virus was released that has wiped out the world’s entire population, except for the red 4WD driver and myself who is immune to it.

It’s a man walking a dog. I think, “Why so early?” then I think of myself. I stare aimlessly at him, wondering what he does, where he lives. Does he have a family? Was he the same man I saw on Australia’s most wanted, or is he secretly selling drugs to someone down the road? They say it’s never who you would expect. It’s just a man walking a dog, or is it? I look away as we cross paths, just in case I see his stash and he pulls a gun on me. I breathe a sigh of relief and look at my watch. Only 25 minutes to go.

I’m now completely paranoid. If a tree branch moves, it’s automatically a sniper. If something moves in the grass, it’s a pack of vicious dogs surrounding me, ready to devour my skinny runner’s body. “Damn, my brain”. They say dogs are intelligent, so why would they attack skinny little me, when they can hang around outside Jenny Craig’s or the local gut busters’ clinic. “That was my chance to quit too.”

I look at my watch, 10 minutes to go. I’m in the home stretch. I can see the light, I’m winning the Olympic marathon. OK, that’s going a little too far, but the euphoric feeling is overwhelming me as I have crossed the hardest part of the hour run. My watch has ticked past the 40s into the 50s. I think it’s similar to the feeling a cricketer gets when they make a hundred, except they get applause and their picture on the back page of the paper.

I get sore legs, maybe a blister, and missed sleep, which probably means that I’ll miss one of my favorite TV shows because I have to go to bed an hour earlier. Is it all pointless, all this work? I look at my watch, 59 minutes, time to go home.

My legs feel like jelly. (Or can I even feel my legs?) I’m slightly disorientated, and I can hardly see because my salty sweat has run down into my eyes. But I’m home. I think about what’s next on today’s agenda. It’s Monday morning, the first two periods of school are English, and my teacher expects me to write a creative piece.

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