Well, I did it today - I RAN 20 MILES!!! I can hardly believe I did it. I actually should say WE did it, for it is by God's grace alone that my body is enduring! I was a bit anxious this morning, but just like when you run a simple 5 or 10 miles, it is one step at a time.
This marathon training has truly changed my life. I have learned so much about myself and have been able to change "on the trail," then change in my life. I have learned it is about forward motion. If you get caught up in performance or refuse to rest when needed, you do not feel as strong. As long as I continue to move forward, I am going to cross the finish line. Forward motion is success. So it is with life. We face interruptions, juggling schedules, illness, etc. We are sometimes forced to slow down. That is okay! We just have to keep in mind forward motion is what matters. I have also learned slowing down keeps you going. In life, I am also learning to slow down, mentally and physically. I am astounded at how my reserve has built.
Probably one of my biggest lessons has been in optimism and being in the moment. When we do our Saturday long runs, we do those on the trail, which stretches from our city all the way to the Bronx. What this means is whatever we travel one way we will have to travel the other way when we turn around. When we first started, I found that rather than enjoying the downhills and "coasting," I was grumbling internally and worrying about the inevitable reversal where I would have to go uphill. How pathetic. I realize I am a little like that in life when it applies to me personally. I worry, worry, worry. It deprives me of enjoying the moment. I disciplined myself to change on the trails, and have noticed it transition into my life.
Even my stress fracture I have fought off has taught me things. The first 20-25 minutes are excruciating, as far as my lower leg goes. Once we traverse what we call "Mount Kilimanjaro," which are 2 hills back to back that are quite steep, the pain begins to diminish. In life, when I feel I am facing an uphill battle that does not feel good at the time. I recall that I am "building heat" and will be in a better place in life once I crest it.
So, if you are not a runner, this may all seem cheesy to you. I am a different person today because of my training, regardless of what my body does on January 9th, I am a success. God has also allowed me to build a beautiful friendship with my running partner. Training long distances with someone is quite intimate. You experience so much alongside another person, you struggle together and succeed together. I am so thankful God gave me Mary Cay to run alongside!