by Jay Hiller, August 10, 2022
When I was training for marathons, the training schedule reminded me of the toddler game where you build a tower of blocks and then knock it down. For me that meant getting into pretty good shape over a period of 18 weeks and walking painfully the day after the event. I have some plastic participant medals that I sometimes look at and some finisher’s shirts I never wear. However, when I think about the training-for-a-marathon game what I remember is the process of training: the year my long runs fell on Christmas Day one week and New Year’s Day the next, doing medium-long runs in the dark on Wednesdays before work, what it felt like to start a new training schedule in October and to start tapering in January. The best part for me was the process of getting ready for the marathon.
A lot of parts of working out are like that. You set a goal, whatever it is, and then over a period of time you do the work. You run into problems and solve them. You get up early and complete a workout. You workout when you don’t feel like it. You have your little benchmark victories. And eventually you arrive. The arrival may be fun but the process of getting there is more meaningful.