As odd as it is to write this, half marathons are becoming a comfortable distance. They no longer intimidate me, and I find myself evaluating future races in the same way I used to look at 5Ks. Last winter, I set out to channel much of the stress and energy I was receiving from things out of my control into a positive place: running. I was really joyful by the end of the winter that I did not abandon my habits, and that I persisted in running 3-4 times a week, outdoors, through the cold and dark season. As spring tapers toward summer, I am grateful that I built the skill and confidence to run three half marathons in 72 days, recover through injury and maintain a regular running practice. What is ahead this summer? Surely another new adventure as I begin marathon training. Like the winter, this summer will be about persistence. Unlike the winter, this summer will be much more prescribed in terms of each run. Sometimes the minutia of a detailed plan is motivating, and sometimes it is daunting. I aim to motivate myself with the reminder that the plans are necessary to prepare myself in a safe and gentle way.
Although the experience of 13.1 miles feels much less like a battle and more like enjoyable travel, I know that it is my limit right now. I can tell by the way my body feels after I finish a half marathon that I need to now focus on building the strength and endurance to double this distance. 26 miles cannot be completed on a whim.
While there is this temptation to rush through the training, to desire so badly the ability to run an entire marathon, the journey through the process would be lost. I must go back to remembering that the jug is filled by drops and not floods. Each new run is an addition to the last.
Happy Thursday, running friends!
Looking forward to the long weekend ahead!