A couple of weeks back I made a commitment to run a half marathon. I’ve been wanting to get into my running groove again and sometimes nothing says motivation like committing to run a big race. I strapped on my shoes, pulled out my trusty running app, remembered an old three mile course, and set out.
True to my (old) forms, I started out too fast for what my body would be able to maintain for three miles. The hill that greeted me three quarters of the way through the run was longer and steeper than I had anticipated. I should go back, longer++ and steeper++ than I had anticipated.
Then I walked part of it. Oy, that was rough. “You’re not running if you’re walking!” the old mantras of my high school coach went through my mind. I got my legs going again and finished my route, but oy that was rough. I was crazy sore and had a nasty headache the next day. I had anticipated some, but not all of this.
Most of all it was humbling. I let my pride of “super runner” get in the way of doing things properly.
The following run two days later was a bit better. I didn’t run quite as far, but I’m still treating my body like it was in Ragnar shape from two years back. It’s easy to get frustrated at this point. Figure my time has come and just hang up the shoes.
Yesterday was better. I picked an easier route [it’s hard NOT to find hills where I live] and I made sure to keep my pace. The hill was there, but not nearly as long. It was rough, but I pushed through it. Oddly enough my second mile this time was way too fast, but that’s a good note. Even though my lungs were straining to pull enough air in, the will to endure continued. I finished. I was exhausted, but happy.
There is that spark again. That desire. The reminder that it’s okay not to be fast as long as you’re out there and enjoying it. The speed will come. But even if it doesn’t, the enjoyment of a fresh trail, of my muscles and lungs straining a bit over the route, and the communion I get with God on my runs is there. I can make it if I persevere.