Road to Zeeland: Half-marathon alone

I have a confession to make. I’ve never run more than 17 kilometers alone. While I consistently harp on about how I could be alone with my thoughts or empty my head when I’m running, the truth is the husband always goes with me. So there’s always someone to share the frustration, to be the subject of my irritation when it gets too tough, to motivate me, to laugh with.

Running together is not always possible anymore because of the kid. While she’s usually contented sitting in her running buggy for a couple of hours, I thought it would be selfish to make her suffer than that.

So this weekend, I went alone.

While 21,1 kilometers is not really a distance I would cry about, it became a bit of a challenge after 17 kilometers. There was no one there to motivate me nor anyone to get angry with. I had to push myself to make it to the 4 kilometers.

I’ve developed a certain kind of respect for runners who do it alone, especially ultra-marathoners. It takes a considerable amount of mental toughness to complete a marathon on your own, much more a 100-kilometer race.

If ever I become a big shot manager in the future, an applicant who runs marathons or ultras as a hobby would get extra hiring points for me. To run races, one must be organized to be able to incorporate long training hours in your daily life, and one must have patience to keep on pounding the road for hours on end. It gets boring, it gets tiring and most of all, it gets painful. To overcome that and keep on going demands a great deal of commitment and discipline.

Our endurance runs will become longer from today on. I might have to run 32-kilometers all on my own. And I am already looking forward to it.

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