The runs that seem to fly by? The ones that take your mind into the zone and you don’t notice the time or the miles passing by? Those are actually the runs that demonstrated the best focus. Because when you are truly focused on the run, when you can let the noise and the worries go, the calm takes over and the enjoyment begins.
Week 7 is asking me to stay focused, and the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. I’m recovering from a cold, and it’s tempting to make that the excuse to take a longer than necessary break. I just ran a half marathon, and a big part of me is used to taking time off after a race of that distance. The weather is warmer and more humid, demanding earlier or later runs. I have a week of vacation beginning tomorrow and I am scrambling to make sure I complete work projects before I go. I have to finish studying for the GRE and take it this Friday so I can apply to doctoral programs in the fall. My daughter is growing what seems like inches overnight and requiring constant feeding, nurturing and attention. So it’s a good time to anchor back into the practice of running; to reaffirm the marathon training goal.
Week 7 is inching up on the halfway mark. And as runners, we know how magical or how difficult the halfway mark can be, depending on the context. I can think of several examples of out-and-back runs in which reaching that middle point was so liberating, because I knew I only needed to run the previously accomplished distance one more time. I can think of times when reaching that point was sorrowful, because I was already so tired and wanted to be done. My intention for the middle period ahead is to be excited about the second half. To greet the opportunity to finish this goal strongly. To tell the sources of distraction that “it doesn’t matter” when it comes to my running practice.
Stay focused, and stay strong. The other half of the journey is still to come.