I overcame a wall yesterday, a big looming wall that seemed to mock me each time I approached it. Thirteen miles has been my nemesis this month. I have attempted it twice and failed miserably both times. The first time it was because I was attempting it too early in my training and the second time was because I was dangerously close to burnout. This week I set out with a mission, I would end my week with a thirteen mile run if it killed me! Ok not killed me, but maybe if it ran me into the ground… or something.
I set out more than a little anxious, the last two attempts flashing through my mind, but around mile two I was starting to get into my flow. I was feeling good and having a hard time keeping my pace under control. Around mile seven I reached LingGeek's neighborhood and I got a surge of excitement. When I started my marathon training I’d told her that “One day, one day I’ll be running out to your house.” Back then, one day had seemed so distant, like a dream you hope to one day accomplish but you’re never sure you will. In that moment, it really sunk in how far I had come. I was doing it, I had done it! I wanted to shout, I wanted to sing, and instead I just smiled widely and greeted passer-byers a little more vigorously. I road the wave all the way home, breaking the thirteen mile wall and accomplishing 13.67 miles for a new PR.
Which brings me to another running rule I have, celebrate each new accomplishment. If you focus too much on the big picture, you miss the journey. Every new PR, time or distance, deserves a victory dance. Don’t compare your accomplishments to others. So what if Mary Sue has been running as long as you and has already run three marathons, she’s not you. Her journey was different and just as precious, but this is your experience and you only get to live it once. Be the running freak that smiles through each mile and waves at each person you pass, throw your arms in the air, or bust out a move when you’re done. If you don’t make running fun, what’s the point in doing it?