Step By Step - Running Metaphors & More
With the NYC Marathon about a months away, my training is in full swing and yesterday included a 17-mile run at Sunken Meadow State Park. It was a fantastic day for running - sunny, 65 degrees and almost no wind.
Running for a few hours gives you ample time to think about lots of things and my long runs these days take a little longer than they did before my prostate cancer surgery. My pace has been off by a couple minutes per mile, but I'm confident the speed will come back in due time.
I set out to do 17 miles yesterday, the same way I will set out to do 26.2 on marathon morning. The thought of running 26 miles, or even 17 miles can be pretty daunting and it's easy to find a million things that could be more pressing. But I never dwell on the total distance. I think about getting my sneakers on and getting out the door. I anticipate getting that first mile done and then the second. I breathe in the fresh air and think about the six weeks post-surgery that I wasn't allowed to run.
The boardwalk at Sunken Meadow yesterday was filled with older folks using walkers, slowly and tentatively making forward progress, often with help of an aide or spouse. I bet that most of them wish they could run.
Gratitude is a powerful emotion; so is determination that's built on success. With each mile under my belt, my confidence increases and I settle into a comfortable pace. By the tenth mile, there's some fatigue, but there's also an amazing sense of accomplishment. The miles go by a little slower at that point, but as the miles increase, that sense of pride and accomplishment expands and while it's nothing like the crowded, festive NYC Marathon finish line, I completed my run, alone by my car knowing that I finished the afternoon just a little bit stronger, both physically and emotionally. One step at a time.