Ok, here goes. I hate the 'long run' (defined as runs at or exceeding 17 miles).
I know, I know...
..but you're a marathon runner. How can you hate the long run? Isn't that contrary to what you're training for? To what you supposedly enjoy?
Well, allow me to explain.
I do indeed love race morning. The nerves. The excitement. The energy. And once that gun goes off, the race with yourself and the clock to see just how much you can push yourself in those 26.2 miles is definitely a challenge I enjoy rising to meet.
And I do love training. Anything between miles 4-14 I like. Heck, I've even learned to enjoy speedwork to some extent. But the long run...eh, not so much. It's more mental for me than physical. Leading up to them, I dread 'em. The preparation, all the liquid I have to bring, the rest I need the night before, the time I have to devote to it, the latter miles when I'm drenched in sweat and the legs feel like lead...all of it to me is sheer misery.
I do know this: the long run is the most vital and important aspect of marathon training. And I for one am sick and tired of falling apart from miles 18+ and finishing in a crampy whimper at the finish in races.
This is my first formal marathon training program. 18 weeks long. Weeks maxing out at 55 miles. I'm at the halfway point now entering my 9th week. There are plenty more long runs to come. Yes, I need to get over it.
Hell, I need to learn to love it.