Monday, October 12, 2009

Redemption Song

"Won't you help to sing
these songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom." -Bob Marley

So Fall is here. It is marathon season. I am so glad that Summer is *supposed* to be over now... I am forever disheartened at waking up at 5am on the weekends to get in my long runs to beat the heat. I am not a morning person. I need most of my morning to sleep off whatever the night before had in store... that makes more sense to my body than having quiet weekends where I go to bed at 9pm drinking water all night. I did come in first place in my age group in a pretty big 5k this Summer, and I shaved nearly 14 minutes off of my 10k Classic thats pretty cool.

This whole goal has become for me the classic struggle of good vs evil. My bad side wants to reep the benefits of whatever fun is calling; and it always is in countless forms. My good side counters mousily with powerful guilt trips...and when it wins, I am always deeply and profoundly grateful that it did. I somehow managed to hang on to my half marathon endurance from the Spring and build upon it, despite the all out inner freedom fest my Summer turned out to be. A broken heart made me behave quite foolishly trying to escape the pain, but then it also made running absolutely necessary. I needed those long runs to sink into my ipod and work things out. Long runs are an exercise in patience, because really, each one poses discomfort, and struggle, and if I just take my time and make it to the end I find myself at peace for a little while. A friend posted this tonight: "Embrace endings with joy. You have come a long way to get where you are, and you will lose nothing that is truly yours." and I just couldnt have said it better. Thankyou Katie Marsh.
I have overcommitted myself this Fall, and I am constantly stressing over juggling all of the things I am committed to. Basically I just steal the guilt from one activity to drive myself to do another. I come up short all around. The one thing I have kept my grasp on is running. I can not claim an effortless grip, but I have not let go, and I could have justified it many times over. My friend Brian reminded me to just keep my priorities right: Kids, running, writing..."and don't forget about God". Sound advice for someone like me, always trying to drink from the firehose. So the lesson for me here is that I can maintain training for 5k's AND volunteer all over the place...but that's not so smart when I am training for a 26+mile race.
It is hard to believe that I set this goal nearly a year ago, and that I have actually stuck with something that does not provide me with instant gratification. The fact that I have blogged about it so publicly is great motivation for those days that I have blown off one too many weekday 4 milers... I always start them cursing my big mouth, but then settle in and space out and get a wierd satisfaction from getting so sweaty and working so hard. I think I can call myself a runner, body and soul.
My last long run was 23 miles. My body needs 3 weeks to recover from that distance. I couldnt even run over a mile in the days following, and took nearly a week to work my way back up to 4 again. I am taking a B complex daily now, and trying oh so hard to stop eating so many empty calories. My diet has not been up to par for what my body needs. Shame on me, and I have been paying for it.
I hope that after all this that crossing the finish line will not be anti climactic... I really thought it would be all about the race, but really its turned out to be more about the commitment, and allowing a 4 hour run to turn into something beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I got done with most your blogs today, crying through them all. Thank you for your blunt honesty, courage, and abrupt stubborn attitude to be anything other than what you are. It is a thrill to watch you ride this thing called life. You do it ugly, with bumps and bruises, but your impact hits us all like concrete blocks. You knock the life out of me Melissa Brown!