Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Am I Even Doing This?

The last couple of weeks have been increasingly hard for me. I'm not sure if it's the lack of sunlight, the cold weather, all of my runs on a treadmill for weeks, a slight pain in my left leg, or my lack of time to prepare for Christmas with a large extended family and three little ones at home. Maybe some combination, but it hasn't been, "Hurrah, it's time to run again!" every time I lace up my shoes.

Last night, my first day "off" of running for eight days due to a slight training schedule change, I leaned my head against the shower wall and thought, "Why am I even doing this?" And, mostly, that thought was about running. So, today was my mid-week long run, followed by some striders after the finish. I procrastinated an impossibly long time, finally getting dressed a little before 10 AM. I decided to head outdoors, it looked to be warmer, and I thought, well, why don't I just not pay attention to time and just get out and try to enjoy the run? So, I did just that. I clicked my Garmin, knowing full well where 3 mile turn-around point is, and gently, easily took off on the rolling hills of Lake Lotawana.

The sun came out, and I warmed up quickly--too quickly, and I had to strip off a few layers and carry them along. I could feel the warmth of the sunlight on my back, and it felt wonderful. And I felt free again, not caring about anything except feeling relaxed and good about running.
I didn't look at my Garmin again until I was finished.

I also plugged in an older episode of Phedippidations I hadn't heard. I am generally caught up, but there were a few spring podcasts that I missed. This one happened to be Episode 90: The 2007 State of the Course: A tour of the Boston Marathon course. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. It's kind of like when you pray for God to show you a sign, something, anything to help you through. And, miraculously, you find yourself reading or seeing the answer right in front of you. As I listened to Steve and ran, I lived the first 16 miles of the course. The statues, the buildings, the elevations, the previous history as Steve and John ran the exact course earlier this year.

And it made me want to be there. It made me want to buy tickets and get on a plane just to go see the race next year, and be part of the excitement. And it underscored my desire to train and qualify for Boston all over again.
With those desires freshly kicked up again, I feel better. Better about running, better about everything. Thanks, Steve! You really helped me out today.