Whether it is a success or not, a resolution is designed to inspire growth. Ideally, once you’ve succeeded, you’re a better person. Or, if nothing else, the process changes you. What do they say? “It’s the journey, not the destination.” For me, running is a lot like a resolution. Ideally, I’ll be a healthier, stronger person after accomplishing a goal – or a single run – but it’s the journey that moves me. So, for 2016, I decided to accept a challenge presented by www.ilovetorun.org and run 1,000 miles this year. This article will serve as a pedometer, of sorts, for you to follow me on my journey as well as a place for us to share the thoughts and ideas inspired by each mile.
This journey is something else. If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you’ve read about some amazing times. The beginning of May was a triumph over trials. I had a personal record in a half marathon that I ran in New Jersey with, for the first time in six races, my family waiting at the finish line. It was so amazing and emotional. I trained hard and ran strong and felt so unbelievably confident in my strength and ability.
Here, at the end of the month, though, I’ve felt a great deal of defeat. I’ve written in the past about how, once you train for something and have all the anticipation and build up come to an end, there’s a certain level of depression that seeps in. All your work; weeks, months, miles of sweat, tears and blisters all come to a halting end after 2 hours, 5 minutes and 9 seconds – or whatever the case may be for your own personal task. And then you have… what? I mean, yes, I have 1,000 miles to run. There’s a goal in that. There’s training and focus that go in to that. But, I can’t express to you the amount of mislaid direction that one feels after completing a task they’ve worked toward for five months. It’s hollowness.
I wrote about having to do a task versus needing to do it and wanting to do it. The thing about now is that I don’t feel the tug of any of those things pulling me forward. I’ll still run because I know the disappointment that comes from not, but don’t think for a second that it isn’t a struggle.
This journey is heart breaking. It can be a real ball-buster. Take me for a ride. Make me question myself. Will I really run 1,000 miles this year? Doubtful, says the Little Runner Girl on my left shoulder. You’re broken. You’re bruised. Your Plantar Fascia is helplessly inflamed. Let’s not even begin on the fact that you’re not even athletic! Your ability is waning and you’ve reached your peak, sister. Let this thing go.
This journey is uplifting. It began with a promise to be better and it’s delivered on that promise more times than not. Its intention is to heal and build strength and it’s done so ten fold. The challenge was about a promise to myself and I’m keeping it. You’re going to get this thing done, says the Little Runner Girl on my right shoulder.
This journey is a vixen. She entices and lures me with the promise of accolades and congratulations. Imagine the glory. Imagine the sense of accomplishment and pride. All the words that mean beautiful things; those words will be about you! Imagine.
This journey is never-ending. No matter how defeated, triumphant, worthless or powerful I feel. I know the next day holds more… or less. It’s the next day. It’s facing the next day. Taking it on. Knowing that, even if this day is the worst, tomorrow might be better. Embracing the fact that, if today was fantastic, I need to remain humble because tomorrow could be all the bad.
It’s about learning who I am and what I can accomplish. Finding a way to overcome the hardships and accepting the moments when I feel like maybe I can’t. This journey isn’t just about running anymore but about understanding. Knowing who I want to be and not giving up on the journey to get there.
This journey is a journey. It’s ongoing. The struggle to know better than the bitchy voice in my head and hear the quiet whisper of confidence will never end. No matter the day. No matter the challenge. This journey is forever. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Goal for 2016: 1,000 Miles
Year To Date: 464.5 miles.
Miles To Go: 535.5