I thought I ran 13 miles today. I got all pumped up about it. I ran out to the quarry/asphalt company like instructed. Even got a good time, too. But it seemed…suspicious, too good to be true. So I drove it. Turns out it was more like 12ish miles. Wah! I didn’t even have moisture left in my body to cry, seeing as I sweated it all out on the run.
Yet, progress is progress. In Latin, that’s progressus, profectus est. Sounds better, don’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy with gaining longer distances, truly. It’s just the race is coming up soon and I wanted to run the 13-mile distance at least once to wrap my little noggin around it, so I wouldn’t psyche myself out on the day. I’m pretty good at head games. I lettered in it.
This is where I remind myself that a few short weeks ago, I couldn’t run that far. I didn’t have it in me. What nobody seems to talk about when you run long distances is how you need to be able to absorb the notion of running longer. When I first started, running more than 3 miles stumped me. My mind rebelled. Then it was 6 miles. Once I crossed that bridge, over time, it was like my mind opened up to the possibilities of…more. It’s hard to describe. I’d liken it to the old saying, “Throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow.” Once you let go of the fear of a new challenge, and any odd circumstances that might arise (dog chases, cramping calves, getting lost), you can do it. You might have to go slowly, but you will arrive.
The two pieces need to sync: mind and body. You can’t hurry the process, either. My body usually gets there faster. It’s pumped and likes the endorphins. My brain, not so much. “Susan, you can’t do this! Remember how much your leg hurt? Remember how you were nauseated the rest of the morning after that 10-mile run? Huh? Hey, are you listening to me?!”
I prayed specifically that the two pieces would unite. I’d planned to run on Saturday, but I woke up with a wicked kink in my back and it poured down rain. I did a short treadmill run and stretched out. It helped. So this morning, I had no excuses.
The morning dawned pink, with gauzy layers of fog lying over the fields. The air, perfectly still, still held the chill of the night. Jonathon often encourages me to enjoy every mile when I’m out there. And I’m starting to learn.