Yesterday was another 12 mile run. Next week I go up to 14, and I have to admit I am a little nervous. Something about crossing the halfway mark makes me nervous, but I'm also feeling a little excited. I feel pretty comfortable with 12, and I'm ready to challenge myself again. Plus, whoa, I am comfortable with 12. Does that mean I can actually become comfortable with larger distances and maybe, actually can do this marathon?
Anyway, my run was originally scheduled for Saturday, but we got our first (!) big snowstorm, so I decided to wait until Sunday. Luckily, this is vacation week, so neither me or my awesome hubby have to work. I spent Saturday grumbling and watching the snow fall. I love snow, but running in it is not so much fun. I kept thinking of all the reasons why I could skip my run or postpone it for another day. All of my "reasons" were ridiculous excuses, and I knew it. I grudgingly set out my running clothes for the next day while thinking about the warm 43 degree day I'd run only a few days before. I was excited to get rid of the bulky outer layers, and the idea of piling them on again was making me grumpy.
I planned to run in the morning b/c my DD had a birthday party to go to on Sunday, but my husband (without meaning to aid my excuses) suggested I wait a bit so the road would be plowed. I agreed and turned off the alarm.
Luckily, I never sleep in very long. I was up at 7 (when I should have been leaving for my run), and I decided that I would definitely still have time for my run, even if I had to go even slower than usual because of the slippery roads. I ate breakfast, got dressed, and messed around on the computer for a bit. Then, suddenly, I wanted to go. I was ready. I kissed the kids, and I left.
I'm so glad I did. The sun was shining, everything was covered in fresh, thick snow that was still white b/c the snow hadn't started to melt yet. The roads were as white as the snowbanks and trees. The sky was perfectly clear and a shade of blue that almost didn't look real. It was like running in a postcard, and I was so happy to be out there.
I had a great run. One of my best. And, here are some of the things I learned:
1. That it is worth getting out there and doing it. It wasn't perfect. It was cold, and the wind was terrible in places. Still, it made me work harder, and I enjoyed sights that I would never have seen if I'd stayed in bed.
2. That my body is amazing. I've been studying anatomy for my trainer certification, and it's cool to think about how my muscles are working to produce the movement of running.
3. That I live in a beautiful place. I already knew this, but yesterday definitely reminded me of it again. Love VT!
4. That snow packed roads are a lot like dirt when it's really cold. It actually cushioned my feet from the pavement and was a really nice running surface. On the way back, it started to melt, and things were much more slippery.
5. Cold is good! Not only were the roads nice, but it feels great to breath cold, crisp air. Plus, I couldn't feel my legs, so no pain!
6. Most of all, I realized that I really love running. I know it sounds strange since I am training for a marathon, but I wasn't sure I liked running all that much. I used to be the person who "couldn't run", and that kind of thinking for so many years is a hard thing to break. I signed up for a marathon b/c I wanted the challenge and wanted to prove I could do it, but I was still planning for after it was done and I could stop running. Crazy, right?
Yesterday, I realized that I do love it. I love being on my own (which never happens). I love being out in nature. I love testing my body and pushing my limits. I love that distance has a new meaning for me now. I love the way it has changed my body and how I view it. I love that even after all my grumbling, I wanted to go out and do it.
Every time I run, I learn something new. I see something different. My thoughts are clearer, and I am filled with gratitude and a love for life. It is such a gift.
I'm not going to turn into a crazy marathoner. I know what too much running and obsession can do to people - I have 2 friends recovering from surgery b/c they ran when they should have been resting. Still, I absolutely love the half distance. I think after this marathon is over and I've had some time to rest, I may become a half fanatic. It's a great distance that I find comfortable. Anyway, that's what I learned this time. Who knows what 14 will bring?