Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain.
Saturday is long running day. It has been for a long time. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about today with excitement. Long run days are days where you lace up your shoes hit the pavement, the trail, the track, and even the treadmill and you log the lonely miles that exist between you and race day or even just until the next run. They hurt sometimes. I’ve lost toenails, found bloody socks when I’ve taken off my shoes, and taken more than a few ice baths in my day. They are long runs, hard runs, runs that put your body to the test. Lately, I’ve been doing my long runs with Casey, and you may remember her – I mention her often and she has her story in my blog. She’s my best friend and her racing name is Novocain… for a reason. She overcomes the pain again and again, not relenting to it and it drives her to go further than any person should have been able to in a few short months.
Today we ran a half marathon distance long run. It wasn't a race, I didn’t put on a bib or have water passed to me every few miles to give me a few sips of relief. There wasn't a start line where everyone lined up with nervous, excited energy and waited for the delicious sound of a gun going off or a finish line with cheers and applause. We just ran… long smooth strides, turning often to the tune of 106 laps to accomplish the distance. There were words of encouragement from gym friends, smiles from those we passed, and a few minor walls to conquer from start to finish. There was no fanfare, snow fell silently outside the large glass windows as we ran, the minutes passing as we talked and the miles fell away behind us. When we crossed our last lap, at a sprint, nothing happened, there was no fireworks or cartwheels. The power was in the look we exchanged; a quiet glory in what was accomplished and a smile, a hug to acknowledge the moment we just shared.
I ran a half marathon today with my best friend. It was a quiet two hours in the late afternoon on the track… just 106 laps between friends.