Friday, September 7, 2012

So Close...So Far Away

Sometimes 2:59.59 feels like its a long way away.

From 3:07, that is.

Confused?  My current marathon personal best is a 3:07.  My ultimate goal, for now, is a 2:59.  This means I need to shave a whole 7 minutes from my time.

7 minutes.  This is the length of time it took this morning for me to: park my car and walk into Starbucks.  Order a grande Earl Grey tea with lots of room in my lovely new white re-useable cup.  Pour a healthy amount of skim milk into said tea.  And return to car.  All things considered, not that long of a time frame.

But when I'm thinking about those 7 minutes out there on the marathon course, I am very aware of exactly how those 7 minutes are going to feel.  They certainly are not going to feel like this morning's leisurely stroll into Starbucks to order tea.  Those 7 minutes are going to hurt.  Hella hurt.  Body telling brain to stop hurt.  Lungs exploding, feet numb, every muscle in my body burning hurt.  The sweat equity that is going into those 7 minutes is extensive...intervals, long runs, hill training, tempo runs, recovery runs, yoga days, stretching, stretching, stretching.  To me, there is something so simple and beautiful about this, the fact that with marathon training, you get out EXACTLY what you put in. And yes, no will. HURT.

However, I also have to remind myself that my philosophy on running and training parallels my philosophy on life, in which case it is never just about the destination but about appreciating the journey along the way.  And what a journey to 2:59.59 it will be. Along the way there is 3:02 and 3:03 and 3:06.  Those numbers are all fabulous in their own right and stand for me being just a little better than I was last time out.  Even before the finish line is crossed and there is a final time on the clock, there are so many amazing adventures to be had within this journey.   Great running to be had with even better friends.  Great running to be had at high schools sharing what I know with kids who are likely way faster but maybe slightly less disciplined than me.  Great meals to be consumed after long, long, LONG Saturday or Sunday morning runs.  So much great, in fact, that I get excited just thinking about it.  And during my 30k tomorrow morning?  I'm going to breathe deeply, appreciate the moment and relish every step of the way.

And where does this leave me?  I guess it leaves me right in the middle of it all.  Putting one foot in front of the other.  Again, and again.  Heading towards the finish line, which is also the middle point...and the starting line and all the places in between.  2:59...I'm comin' for ya!

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