Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Today I was scheduled to run a 10 miler.  You see, I committed myself to run in the October 2012, St. George Marathon.  Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to finally make the cut.  They hold a lottery each year, only allowing 7500 runners (many more thousands apply) in this coveted race.  I happened to be one of the lucky ones that will be running in the fall.

And now I am committed.  I have my traning plan sitting here in front of me with every single workout I will be completing for the next 16 weeks. 

Now there is a commitment.

There are long runs. There are also fast finish long runs (this is when you have a 18 plus run and you run your marathon pace the final miles).  In between, I will be expected to do tempo runs (medium long runs sprinkled with half marathon pace).  There will be speed workouts as well as easy run days (love those) and a few rest days (really love those). 

If I commit to accomplishing all of these workouts, I will have a greater chance at obtaining my ultimate goal...getting a personal record (PR). 

The entire process always seems a bit intimidating.  But with each marathon, I try to look at each training plan day to day and then week to week.  That way, I feel less frightened and less likely to give up.  But even in a given day, a run can seem unnerving.  Remember that scheduled 10 miler?  Well, I had hoped to get it done earlier, while it was still relatively cool.  But life got in the way a little bit.  I had Tate to get to 8 am swim practice, Ethan to wake up for rock band camp (this is a difficult and long process since he is still on Hawaii time...I know, "poor boy"), make him a lunch, drive back to get Tate, and then drive Ethan to camp. By the time I actually could find time to run the entire 10 miles, it was 9:30.  By now, the sun was up, temperatures were in the 80's and running was the last thing I wanted to do.

But I had made a committment.

And so I put on my running shoes, music and sunscreen, filled my water bottle and headed out the door.  With a  mere 500 yards (and a daunting 9.9+ to go) down, I ran into my two neighbors who asked me, "How far you running today?"  I replied with angst, "10."

Instead of focusing too much on each mile that lay ahead, I changed my thinking.  I spent time enjoying "the view."  The sky, with the low humidity was a clear blue.  Fluffy clouds flitted along in the perfectly cooling breeze.  I then began mapping out my run.  I thought, "Maybe I will try something new, take a route I have never taken." 

And so I commited, to an entirely new route.  It was going to take me in a huge circle around the Haymarket/Gainesville area. My only fear was the few miles that ran along the busy, 29.  I could not remember  if there was a sidewalk or not.  But I decided to just go ahead with my adventure and see what lie ahead.

After 3.5 miles, I made it to the road in question.  I was relieved to see a lovely sidewalk to run along as cars whipped by at a blazing 55 mph.

I continued along the road for a few miles.  It wasn't long after, I noticed the sidewalk's end.  What I saw ahead of me were cars whizzing off I-66 onto 29 and only a small area left for me to make my way onward.  You see, I was committed to this route. If I turned around I would end up running much further than I had planned...or wanted.  I didnt have enough water, strength or mental game for that.

The words, "commit" came to my mind as I tredged onward.  As I made my way, I was blessed to find a few paths that ran parallel to the street, giving me ample room from the oncoming cars.  I took my time crossing areas that had merging cars from other highways, always finding plenty of space between cars to cross.  Was I scared? Yes. Was I tired? Yes. Did I want the blazing sun off me? Yes. Did I long for an easier path?  Yes.

Did I quit?


I had committed to this path, during this time, on this day...and I was going to finish.

And that I did. Although it seemed like a "longer" and tougher ten miler than I have done in the past, it was definitely one that made me stronger. And those are the kinds of runs that can change us.

Have you committed to something "longer" and "tougher?" 

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