The Long Run is the bread and butter of a training regime. It is the single most important part of marathon training. It builds your endurance, trains your muscles, and prepares you mentally to struggle through fatigue and pain. And for me, it's what really makes me feel like a runner.
I got to the park today at 5:40am. The sun wasn't up yet, but there were already 6-7 cars in the parking lot. I felt a sense of pride parking my car next to theirs. These are my peeps. I may not know their names or who they are. But we share an unspoken cameraderie. We are the crazy people who train for marathons in the first place, we are the crazy people who get out to run at 5:45 on a Saturday morning, and we are the crazy people who are addicted to running.
The thing about long runs is this... its just you and your body & mind for that period of time. It's the one time in life, that time doesn't speed by you (although most of the time you wish it would). It's the time you can take to reflect on your day, your week, your life. It's time that you can spend planning things and dreaming things. It's funny... my long run lasted 1:34 today and I can't name you one song that I heard while running. That's how in your head you get while running. Like you said before, it's therapy. And, all running can be therapy, whether you are running 2 miles or 20... but, there is something about those long runs. I guess its the extra time and the boredom, but the long runs make you feel so empowered.
So, I'm glad to officially get my first long run under my belt for this training season. There were some struggling points in the hour and a half that I ran, but I powered through. And I again feel like a real runner.