Then, one of the commenter's, Cammie over at Red Gate Gardens asked me if I had been running, and I realized that its been awhile since I shared.
The marathon training is going great. Its hard but great. Today I ran 18 miles and I felt great until the last 3 miles. I really had to push myself to keep going, I did, and I feel so great now that its over and I don't have another long run for 7 days! YES! The marathon is getting close, its about a month and a half away, so its coming up quick. About 3 weeks ago, I felt a strain in my calf, and I was in a lot of pain, so I got a massage, took the week off, and have been better ever since. I really have focused a lot more on stretching both before and after my runs to prevent injury. I need to pick up my yoga again, but time is still an issue, so I will fit it in if I can.
These super long runs really wear me out, and usually when I get back on Saturdays I am so tired for the rest of the day. But, despite that fatigue, I love it. I love running. I love my long Saturday morning runs. Each week, I get the chance to push myself further and further. Even though it hurts, it reminds me that I am still alive. It forces me to dig deep, reach down and search for strength when I feel like I am tapped out, and keep going. It reminds me that I am strong. It reminds me that I am alive, vibrant, and still kicking.
I played soccer in college at a division 1 school, and I am often asked what I miss about it. My answer tends to surprise people, but its always the same. I miss getting hit and pushed. Seriously, there is something about it that made me feel alive. I had to push past the hurt, and keep going, and training has reminded me of that. It has reminded me that I can always go more, go harder, go faster. I can.
Pushing to the end of myself has had more than just physical rewards, it has had mental, emotional, and spiritual ones as well. I run in a new subdivision that is being built about a mile from here, its on over 500+ acres. All the streets are paved, but there are less than 30 houses out there. When I run it is pitch black most of the time, and I get to run up and down these rolling hills, and I get to watch the sun come up, and set the sky ablaze. It is then that I turn off my ipod and just run into the sun rise. The sky is a beautiful backdrop for the trees, and deer that run all around the property. Its a time where I remember who made that sunrise, who made this beautiful earth, and I just thank God that for all he has done for me.
This marathon training has taught me so much, and I am so glad I am learning and growing in this new experience. I will end with a great quote from Lance Armstrong about riding while he had cancer that I get a lot of inspiration from.
Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that its absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a six hour ride at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for a while you have a kind of hall pass, and dont have to brood over your problems; you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue are absolute.