Night before my first marathon of 2017, and I am beat, mentally and physically.
As I sit here on the couch begging my self to have energy for tomorrow and drinking a gallon of water to keep hydrated, I think about why the heck do I keep signing up for these half marathons.
It’s been a long week, or geeze a long couple months, oh heck it’s been a crazy couple years.
A couple of months ago when I first started training for the 2017 season, I naturally just went out for a run on our gravel roads. Since we live 11 kms from the nearest paved roads, it’s convenient to just have the start line at the end of my driveway.
As I set out for this one specific run, I was having a hard time getting into the zone. Now if your not a runner you might not know what I’m talking about.
“The runners zone”(my definition): To get to a place where you think about nothing except that open road infront of you. And by nothing I mean not thinking about what you have to do the rest of the day, or how many bills are owing, or how you got angry at the kids earlier because they colored on the wall(again), or how you just spent a fortune on an unnecessary bill because your dogs decided to attack a porcupine not only once but now twice, or how you never can get anything done, because there is always just so much to do.
The list goes on and it NEVER stops.
So back to this particular day that I set out for my 5 miler. I was having a really hard time getting into the runners zone this time and felt the weight of life dragging behind me. As I ran down that gravel road I had a thought about the terrain I was on. Over winter the roads get all bent out of shape and in the spring the grader goes down the road to smooth it out, and usually pulls up a lot of the bigger pebbles and rocks.
3 miles into my run I came to a stop and looked for just the right rock. Couldn’t be to big and needed to be just the right size. It was a small plain grey rock that fit just right into the palm of my hand.
I realized something that day.
Each time I ran on that road I was always running ‘away’ from something. Every step I took I dodged different size rocks, just like we do with the hard things in life.
So I decided to pick up one of those’hard things’ aka the rock to symbolize my struggle and the things that hold me down in life. I decided that this run I was going to carry and embrace the craziness instead of letting drag behind.
And when I was ready to get rid of it and free myself of those daily burdens I would simply just toss that rock away.
See there is always going to be pebbles, or rocks or even boulders in the way in our life. We all deal with our burdens and stresses differently but I finally have found a way to relieve the burdens(even though it’s only for that run sometimes), and just throw them away.
I discovered my love for running almost 20 years ago, and always loved the ‘runners high’.(Endorphines appear to be involved in runner’s high, the state of euphoria some runners report after a prolonged period of exercise, but what exactly is the state that these runners are feeling? There is a close connection between the mind and the body when a person is running).
So I will continue to run and experience the ‘runners high’ and get in my ‘runners zone’ and pick up the pebbles along the way and hold them when I need a reminder that something is holding me down. Each marathon that I train and run for is a symbol of my hard work and dedication, and commitment to only myself. For every run and marathon that I complete, I feel this unbelievable sense of accomplishment that Is so hard to describe. But when you wear that race bib you are proud and have a beautiful sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line and someone immediately comes up to you and congratulates you as they slip that medal over your head. Those are the moments that I cherish and feel proud to do over and over, because sometimes in life moments don’t feel like they come like that so often.
So I sit here, now excited about the upcoming run, and can’t wait to have that medal around my neck and the fire in my soul.
And as the ‘runners high’ kicks in as I travel the rocky uneven roads of tomorrow, when I am ready I can simply ‘toss away’ my worries for the day and continue on with my ❤️ for running.