Last Sunday marked the last of my long runs before my marathon this Sunday and also my longest run to date. As I hit the road for what I knew would be at least 3 or more hours of running, I was not setting out to break any speed records, but I was not only pushed by the sense of needing to get the miles done, but more so by WANTING to get the miles done.
I initially planned to run my normal long route but opted to change it up and revisit many of the routes that had gotten me to where I am today in my running journey. I started with the monster rolling hills that can take you straight from the interstate all the way to the next county right through the heart of Tallahassee, and then opted to make a turn into an area that always seems so peaceful to me near a local community called Buck Lake, popping back out onto the main highway I opted to turn and run up Capital Circle, a path that would lead me to a couple of doozie hills on Park Avenue (it’s Tallahassee, it ain’t fancy) and then my flat mental course out-n-back on Blair Stone Road. As I approached, ran and completed each of these courses I reflected on miles shared with great running friends, but I also reflected on and relished a bit in the fact that I was accomplishing a dream.
You see, never in my life would I have dreamed that I would or could find peace with myself in running distance beyond 13 miles. Testing my heart, my resolve, my endurance and my commitment, that’s what those miles were for me. Every single one meant something and even when I had to walk, I still was going for my dreams and taking one step closer to finishing my race. Though actually finishing my race is rhetorical, finishing my race to my 40’s has brought me to this epic closure to a chapter.
Last week, as I pushed to reach my goal for my fundraising I decided that I wanted to take others along for the 26 mile journey. I asked for donations to honor friends, family, acquaintances or loved ones by honoring them with a $10 sponsorship of a mile. This week as I have 2 spots remaining, I am humbled to be running my longest distance with and for so many that have fought hard, endured unexplainable pain and suffering and some even being so lucky to come out on the other side and find remission from their illness. For them, I honor each step I take on Sunday because they cannot or never had the chance to try.
I will take the rest of the week off to let my body rest and repair for Sunday and I look forward to sharing my journey to 26.2 with you next week.
Gingermantra – xo