I felt like I could fly. My heart pounds with excitement just remembering that run. It wasn’t the longest run I’ve done, but it was the best- the most reassuring and proof of my progress. Such was the way I ended my first month of training.
I pushed the stop button on my watch and turned to look at the ocean I’d paralled for the last few miles, heart pounding and breathing heavily, and… jumped! Lol I didn’t know how else to release this excitement. This sense of encouragement. It was stormy; wind blew dark clouds mixed with snippets of sunlight over white-capped waves yet I’ve never felt so positive. I yelped when I jumped thinking I was alone on the path and I heard a laugh behind me. It was a little Asian man with a camera trying to capture the sunset’s beauty amongst the coming storm. I smiled in return and asked him to take the above picture. I’m so thankful he did.
You see, running is a solitary sport. You are your own cheering section, own critic, and you alone must hold yourself accountable when training. Being honest with yourself as to your performance or lack thereof is the most difficult part. Sure, there are (and I have one) training programs where you pop in your day’s running mileage, time, pace, etc., but it’s still you alone motivating yourself to complete that chart and see your workout light up green in accomplishment. No one can make you do it. You have to push yourself. Want it.
And you must be able to survive being in your own head. lol Funny but true. Many seasoned runners go out there and use it as a time to reflect on life or simply experience a sense of escape from its stressors. I’m not quite there yet; I constantly worry about my pace, my knees, if I’ll make it to the end of the run. Always the insecurity and preoccupation with self-doubt- can I really do this marathon? That day was wonderfully different. My husband called it a “breakthrough” run. He said it’s what keeps you addicted and coming back for more even on the longest of days, in the windiest of conditions (I HATE wind).
All I know is I chased the setting sun feeling peaceful and confident in my running and my pace. That day, the wind didn’t bother me…
I was ready to soar.