Every time I have reached mile 19 or so in a marathon, I question my sanity. Why do I keep signing up for marathons? What compels me to put myself through the event one more time?
My questions to myself are answered during training. I will never ever be a speed demon. Certainly, I am not a turtle of a runner, but I do not have the desire to train to become a hare. However, when I am running long, I experience complete nirvana. Trudging along, I achieve some sort of zen.
Yesterday, I had 13 miles planned according to my coach. I was planning to get up in the morning and head to South Boston, to connect with my L St running club friends. I got my fussy little baby to bed before 11 which is a miracle; he must know that the only night I need to sleep is on Saturday so he refuses to go to bed on this night. I felt the stars were lining up to get me to Southie.
I woke up in the morning and looked out window. There was snow falling, and my excitement level for my run rose. And then I saw the car in my driveway.... that was blocking in our cars. One of my husband's friends left it there after their night of revelry. It meant that I was not driving in to the club as there were no keys to move the car.
Needless to say, I was not happy. My perfect little plan was set aside. I looked outside and saw our lack of sidewalks and plows rumbling by and realized that it was probably not so safe to head out for a run on the streets of Hingham. But, I was ready to go. Plan C came into action.
Enter my trusty little treadmill. I LOVE running on the treadmill, but 13 is a ominous number to complete on one. I had little choice though but to get on it if I wanted to run at that very moment. The treadmill started up, and I headed along my way.
It was a great run! Honestly! My music motivated me, and I was literally arm dancing on my treadmill while running at times. My shirt that I placed over the display distracted me from how much I had to go and kept me just running by feel. I ran for just over 2 hours without stopping, evenly paced. With my gus and water on the console, there was no reason to stop. And, the realization hit me as it does every training cyle. I love to run long. I think, reflect and connect with my mind and body. The sweat cleanses me, and even though I am technically dirty, the experience purifies me. I need to bottle this little moment, capturing the essence of how I feel when I run long.
4 years ago