Marathon Training: Week 7


Last week I read a tweet that asked this question: are you a blogger who runs or a runner who blogs? 

It's an interesting thought, because I have been writing about running a lot lately. But ultimately, I am a blogger who runs. 

Over the last three years, my favorite posts have been the ones where I write about my life. Funny stories, mostly, about the things that happen to me. I write them because I don't want to forget and because I like writing stories. When I started this blog, the thought of running a half marathon wasn't even a dot on my radar. It was more like a "that would be so cool but I will never do it" kind of thing. But as I've taken on this running challenge, it's become a large part of my life as well. Even though I do not write primarily about running on this blog, my long runs in particular always leave me feeling introspective. So here goes. 

This morning was my seventh week in a row waking up at 6:00 on a weekend to do a long run. Sixteen miles. Now officially the farthest I have ever run.

I wish I could have had a camera to take a picture of my view, but at the same time I feel certain that no picture would have captured the scene. So I will attempt to recreate it as best I can. 

It had snowed overnight. Not enough to stick to the pavement, but the grass and all the trees were dusted with white. It looked like that fake snow they put on expensive Christmas trees, less like a blanket of snow and more like, I don't know...cumulus clouds, puffy and thick. The temperature was a frosty 30 degrees, and the sun was just rising. 

Our sixteen-mile out-and-back path started off in a neighborhood in the well-to-do part of Oklahoma City. Then we climbed the overpass bridge and crossed the highway before entering the park. My footsteps crunched the snow as I crossed the bridge, and I could see puffs of breath from the runners around me. The path wound through the park and went out by the lake, where the rising sun shone brilliantly on the water. After the lake we ran through a golf course, and this is where it became truly magical for me. 

It was around mile 9. I looked at my watch and realized I'd been running for close to an hour and half. An hour and a half. 

I'm doing it, I thought. I'm doing it. 

Then I lifted my head and looked around. There were hills and bridges, light tracks in the snow from the golf carts, trees that stood proud and white, the sun glinting through the trees. It was beautiful. 

And I didn't feel tired.
Now, I was tired. I am tired now as I write this. But I wasn't dying or cramping or feeling like I was going to throw up. 

I was just running.

So I ran and ran and ran. I passed back through the park and over the bridge and across the highway overpass and down through the neighborhood. By the time the run was over, it had warmed up 10 degrees, and I could no longer see my breath. The snow was starting to melt, and the sun kept rising. And I ran hard until the end, finishing 16 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes

9:46-min/mile pace.

I am doing something I never thought I would do. 
Something that, three years ago, sounded terrifying. 

And I know I'm being a bit overdramatic. It's just running. It's just a thing people do. 

But it's also a reminder that I need to be grateful every single day. Grateful for two strong legs to run and eyes to look at the snow and see the sunrise. And ears to listen to worship music as I run and thank God for the blessing of health and life.

See? I told you running made me introspective. 

If you've stuck with me this far, I'm not really sure why. Ha. 
No but seriously.

The fact of the matter is, right now I love running. I might not this year. I might not after my marathon in April. I might not tomorrow. 
But today. Today was magical. 

And that's all I have for now. Next week I will be HOPEFULLY telling you all about how I dominated the Fort Worth Cowtown half marathon and ran it in under 2 hours. 

*cross fingers*
Claire@MyDevising said...

That's crazy good time! Wow! Those magical running moments are just the best. :)