Yesterday, I completed my goal of running 50 miles this month. I also turned in my last assignment and completed my first semester of doctoral coursework. I feel healthy and strong, both mentally and physically. My proximal goal is to sustain my energy and commitment for running. The half marathon is in two months, and I have never felt stronger or better prepared for a race. I feel more secure in my running practice than I did at this time last year when I was training for my first marathon. I am sure there are many reasons for this, including the benefit of hindsight, but I would say my practice is much more focused on depth than length this time around. The longer runs are not as long. The midweek runs do not seem as trivial. I am running 3-4 times a week–no exceptions. My joints and muscles are not in pain. On Sunday, when I ran eight miles (the longest training run so far this summer), it was joyful. I did not have to coach myself through it. In fact, I had to force myself to turn around four miles in and run back to my starting point, because I really could have kept going.
I am deeply grateful for all the lessons in my life that compliment the spiritual framework of my running practice. The trials and challenges that test my ability to endure and persist. The knowledge that fear or failure is only as big as we perceive it; that a new attitude can truly breathe energy into an environment or situation. In my deepest heart, to know that I can trust myself to muscle through to the finish, no matter the hills and terrain ahead.
Sustain. Sustain. Sustain.
Looking forward to August.