Today's thought

Build your own dreams, or someone else will pay you to build theirs!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Facing the Miles

I remember watching a friend run cross country in high school and wondering to myself why anyone would volunteer to run. I played volleyball in high school and running was always something given to our team as a punishment, miss a serve run a ladder, hit the ball out of bounds-the team ran a lap, it was something I learned to avoid-it was punishment. My memories of junior high include avoiding track days at all cost, running the mile twice a quarter was torture.
(this is not my #)

Running was a journey I started during my undergraduate at Utah State in Logan Utah, ironically the same place I finished my 3rd Marathon last September. It was my freshman year at USU, and I signed up for a workout class. The day I ran my first mile without stopping I was 19, I couldn't believe I had survived, but I had-and I was addicted. Running for me is about so much more than just running.

(BlackSmith Fork Canyon)

I relish getting to see the sunrise, getting that special jump on the day before the rest of the world, feeling that postrun glow push me through busy mornings and long days. "Running is so boring," so many people complain to me. I disagree with this entirely. I get some of my best work done while I am running. I write therapy plans, solve complex work issues, find solutions to nagging problems, finish chapters in my Graduate Thesis-then walk myself through its defense, and even compose comprehensive to-do lists without touching pen to paper. I also daydream, play out amazing vacations Lee and I will someday take, listen to songs which transform me back to childhood and beyond, grieve for lost loved ones, and celebrate all of the blessing life has given me.

Then there are times I think about absolutely nothing except the run, nothing but the sound of my feet hitting the pavement like a therapeutic trance calming my information overloaded mind. I have run 8 months pregnant, and 5 weeks after my son was born, both times my pace was so slow Lee could speed walk and keep up, but it didn't matter to me, the point was I was moving. I have ran in Mexico, Georgia, Boston, and down the streets of Daytona Florida, in California along the beach with Lee, a trail with mountain lion warnings in Idaho, farm roads in Utah, past waterfalls in Oregon, and across the red rock desert of Page Arizona.

(This is the temple which got me through the race, I ran towards it for the last 6 miles, since the race ended at a park just below the temple hill)

I have felt pain at miles 19 and 20 of a Marathon that would knock me to my knees on a regular day, but not on race day, because I am ready for them, I am prepared mentally and physically, there is nothing that can break my stride. "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go…" T.S. Eliot. I don't believe everyone needs to run to find out who they are, but I do believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to do, especially running.

( Hardware Ranch where the race began)

I have said it several times; anyone with enough willpower, heart, and desire can finish a marathon, which is more about an individual's level of determination and grit-than their physical ability. Training is essential though, 26.2 miles demands a persons respect. Life is about setting goals, new goals, higher goals, avoiding complacency at all costs. For me, my future running goal is the coveted Boston Marathon, which requires Women ages 18-34 to run 26.2 miles in a maximum time of 3 hrs and 40 minutes. Wow. That is fast! That equals around an 8:20 mile for the entire 26.2 miles, meaning my ten minute miles aren't going to get me to Boston, and changes are on the horizon for more speed work! I have a long way to go.

This goal today seems unachievable, but so did the thought of running a Marathon 5 years ago. I would have never believed that my body or mind could sustain that type of endurance, but it can, and I did. We never know how far we can push ourselves in any aspect of our lives until we just do it. A favorite quote of mine reads… "We have no idea what infinite potential for greatness we possess- just below the surface of what we limit ourselves to do." That is the question then for all of us, what infinite potential do we all possess just below the surface of our fear, and how much of it have we actually discovered?

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