Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm slow, but I can go

After staying up later than normal after last night's Olympic Opening Ceremony, I slept in later than my usual five o'clock-ish waking time. Saturdays seem to be a good day to let things be a little looser as far as my routine goes. When my body needs rest, I try to listen to it.

Off the subject: Did last night's celebration get you into the Olympic mood? Seeing Mr. Bean run with the Chariots of Fire guys got me laughing out loud. Still unsure what to think about Mary Poppins fighting off Voldemort, those odd blue bird bicyclists, and what looked like E.T. (on his bike scene), flying over the stadium.  (Did anyone else think that, or was that just me?) I Stood up and cheered out loud for teams Finland, Portugal, the good 'ol U.S.A. And of course, my beloved Great Britain. And Lucy (our paranoid dog) got really worried, rushing over to the bed when she saw me rocking out with Paul's awesome Hey Jude. That was so fun.

So back to this morning.

I set off on my usual route; noticing and a little apprehensive that the sun was higher than I'd like it to be. Lots of folks out on the road at this later time. Upon reaching the top of the hill, I became aware of this trail of constant runners-- speedy is the word here-- all heading in the same direction and I found myself merging into their half marathon.

These people are serious. The home stretch vibe is in the air. Most of them young, fast, and almost all passing me by as they make their way down the hill and onto the finish line at the high school.

I had a moment of humble pie asking myself, "Why didn't you sign up for this race?" And "Why do you seem to be trailing behind, not fast enough, not good enough?" Self doubt rearing its ugly head. Then I remembered one of the lessons I've learned these last couple of years:

"Slow" is often better than "fast".

Since I ran that marathon two years ago, I just don't feel that competitive drive or "edge" like I used to. That may come back, but for now I don't feel like I need to prove anything. Especially to myself. That I'm good enough, or capable enough, or fast enough or tough enough. For me, it's just running for the joy of it.

And that's good enough for me.

I've learned a lot about life, my life, with this running thing. That I can do hard things. Things in me that I thought were unattainable or unfathomable. Miracle things.

But I think the most important lesson I've learned through it all is to just keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other.

Like today. Even if I'm slower than I used to be. Even if I need to take a breather and walk for awhile. Even if my mouth is parched dry. Even if this pesky bone spur won't let up. Even though the sun is shining hot in my face. Even though I'm sweating buckets with this shirt soaked through. Even though I feel like I'm "running out of gas".

I had this mental block for so long. I hadn't run more than my almost daily 6 miles for some time now. Really didn't feel the need, as I'm not in training mode.

So wouldn't you know it, I surprised myself today. I decided, impromptu style, just for the heck of it, to just keep on 'a goin. My own little half marathon just for the fun of it. 11 miles give or take. Two hours of these feet pounding the pavement.

Today's motto: Slow and steady win the my race.


  1. I know this feeling - all of these feelings - all so well. My desire to run long distance is long gone but every once in a while a long run feels good. Good for you for getting out there!