I finally got out last night. 3 miles. Slow. No walking.
It was good. No, it was great. It was the first *real* run I’ve had since Valley of the Sun, and it felt good be just be out (first and foremost) but it was also good to feel strong. I love runs where I feel strong.
As I mentioned already, yesterday Micheline and I spent a long while on the telephone, combined with internet surfing, trying to find a race to run together sometime later this year. Our intent is to try and meet for a race once a year – following in the tradition of Big Sur. An interesting comment was made during our conversation, and I pondered it quite a bit last night during my run.
Micheline knows me well enough ~ and may not even visit my blog enough ~ to know I didn’t take this comment the wrong way…so I’m okay with sharing it.
As some background, Micheline is my pie-in-the-sky-friend. She truly believes that nothing is out of the realm of possibility. She isn’t deterred by physical or mental limitations; she’s ready to throw her hat in the ring for just about anything. She doesn’t share my disdain for the prospect of finishing last in a race ~ she’s all about just going for it. In some ways, I wish I was like that ~ but I’m much more conservative.
That being said, I choose my races carefully. I know my physical limitations, and try not to put myself in a race situation where I know I’m setting up for failure. For example, Micheline wants to do the Wild West Trail Marathon….and doesn’t think anything of walking it if necessary. I, on the other hand, don’t think that my very first marathon should be one that is rated with a 9+ degree of difficulty ;)
So obviously we have some differences in opinions about the races we should consider ~ specifically given my adversion to HILLS. (Yes, we’ve covered that topic already, so it really needs no more explanation.) So in our search for suitable races, the degree of elevation change is an item for consideration. At least for me.
So yesterday as we are perusing the internet, Micheline finds a race (I can’t remember which one) ~ I look at the elevation chart ~ make a grunting noise, signaling my disapproval ~ and I can almost see Micheline rolling her eyes at me over the phone. So she chides me: “I’m sorry….I wish I could just run a search for races labeled *easy.*”
To which I promptly reply: “ummmm, I don’t recall any of my half-marathons being easy for me.”
And she got my point. I’m not about searching for easy ~ I’m searching for do-able. I’m searching for a race ~ and a distance ~ that I can conquer. Up to now, for a variety of reasons, my first three half-marathons have conquered ME ~ not the other way around.
I want to conquer a race. I want to conquer a distance. And then I can move on.
And as I was running last night, I realized that is what makes me enjoy some runs more than others. When I am out there, running ~ feeling strong ~ conquering the distance, without it conquering me ~ I love the run. And as is human nature, when I am on the other end of the stick, I don’t feel quite as warm and fuzzy.
There is something amazing for me about looking back at the completion of a run ~ whether it’s 3 miles or 13.1 miles ~ and knowing the distance didn’t defeat me. That was what last night was for me: 3 miles of Pokey versus the Pavement ~ and I came out strong and victorious.
THAT is what keeps me running.
And it gave me a new sense of focus. I’ve completed 3 HM’s lately, but I still have so much work to do. I have not yet conquered the half marathon. And I won’t move on until I do.
My plan is to complete at least 2 more HM’s this year ~ and conquer the distance.