Last fall, before my injury escalated, I decided my long term running goal was to stay in half marathon shape. I even mentioned it. I wanted to keep my long run mileage between 8 – 12 miles every week so that I could run a half at any time. Then I got injured. And I took 8 weeks off. And I had to rebuild my running all over again. And three months later, I’m back. In fact, I’ve already run the half marathon distance once in a training run. And I’m looking forward to racing this weekend.
Here’s the thing … I love the 13.1 distance. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact I never thought I would run a half marathon, or a marathon for that matter. And yet, I did. And I survived. In fact, at times, I’ve thrived. It’s never been easy. There have always been struggles and injuries. But there have also been adventures. And smiles with the tears. Friendships have been forged from the camaraderie of group training. I’ve learned more about myself, and about the sport, than I thought was possible. I’ve been fortunate enough to share my love of running with my husband and we’ve had some amazing times pounding the pavement and piling on the training miles.
Only a fellow runnerd can understand my love affair with running. Those that don’t understand can’t fathom why I would want to run 13.1 miles, or beyond. They don’t understand the thrill or the joy of the accomplishment. They don’t get that a good run is like the first warm spring day after a long winter or that a bad run makes those good runs that much better. Or that crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles is about more than just that run on that day … it’s about every single mile in the weeks and months leading up to it. It’s about early mornings and track workouts and electrolyte drinks and gel’s and never ending laundry. It’s about the love of the sport. It’s about the run.