Example: Hood to Coast 2012. My first leg was just over four miles on a gradual down hill. Easy. My second leg, however, was 7.25 miles on a mostly flat road with some low hills. I gave myself complete permission to take walking breaks if needed. But I ran it all, non-stop. Each time I thought about walking, the slope would head downward, so I kept running. Then up the next hill, repeating the thought process: "I can walk now ... no, it's going downhill again." Till about two miles from the end and it became a "I gotta do this!" It was now dark and when I could see the lights of the exchange ahead I knew I was .... AMAZING.
Note: You may be wondering: 7.25 miles? Why is that a big deal? .... Let me explain. Until I started my marathon training in December of 2010, I practically never walked during a run. I ran my first 13.1 miles (half marathon) without walking, except for the potty-break which we're not counting. But then I learned that many, many people run marathons with walking breaks -- that it was actually allowed in the World of Running ... and I instantly signed on to the mentality.
And I haven't been able to go back.
It's harder to push myself on a routine run. On a good day I can run three miles before taking a break. So 7.25 was a big deal.
When I finally got to that exchange, it was fortunate that Husband was there because I sank into his shoulder, gulped air, and half-sobbed. Weird.
My last leg was something around 5 miles and I ran all of it as well. (Go easy on your critique of my posture in this photo, please. This was at the end of almost 18 miles total. I only had three hours of sleep and my iPod battery had died about four miles back.)
|(Thanks Dave, for a great picture.)|
Another example: Favorite Daughter's marathon last spring. I went to show support and to run with her during her last couple of miles. As I trotted out to meet her, I could hardly contain my enthusiasm for all those MAGNIFICENT people finishing up their 26.2! I KNEW what they had been through, not only for the last several hours, but for the last six months! All complete strangers, yet I was so dang proud of every one of them! I hope I reined in my giddiness enough to not look too idiotic. At least I didn't try to high-five them all.
Another example: I've mentioned this before, but almost every time I run a race with other people .... not just a fun run ..... but an organized race ... I nearly burst with: 1. Love for the world, 2. Kinship with all present, 3. Knee-buckling GRATITUDE that I can DO this, and ... 4. The false perception that I feel GOOD and can run for miles and miles! Of course it all melts off after about five minutes and I begin to wonder why the heck I keep doing this whole stupid running thing.
Then there's my music playlist. Each song was carefully chosen. And they are now mine. You see, when you run to a song enough times, you can somehow take credit for it. And the song becomes better than other songs ..... until you become sick of it and dump it from your list. So when it comes on the radio when you aren't running, you feel good. Because it's one of YOUR songs ...... and you want to point it out to other people and brag, "I run to that song!" ...... which SHOULD make you all the more cool in their eyes ...... don't you think? ...... oh never mind.
Last of all, I have scarcely any practicality in my brain, when thinking about a race far in the future .... like next summer. Times like that I'm fueled on pure emotion. Especially when fun people, whom I adore, are involved. I'm trying to not leap into commitments like I typically do, and instead give those impulses time to work their way through my thought processes for at LEAST a few weeks, or more. Because I KNOW that a few days before any event, I'll be seriously questioning my level of sanity when I signed up.
So that's it. End of post. No pithy finale. Just this song. Which is MINE. 'Cause I run to it.