Marathon Pursuit (2/3): Going for the Long Run
The day was ambitious indeed. 15 miles is no easy jog in the park. The sore feet and achy knees, the long stretch of road, and the shear amount of time to keep yourself entertained; a lot goes into running the same distance as a 20 minute car ride. The forecast was calling for rain and rain it provided. It seemed the moment I started using the running shoes on my feet, a steady drizzle was there to accompany it. And two hours later, the rain never stopped.
Somewhere between the start and end of the 15 miles, discouraging thoughts drifted between my tired legs and weary mind. The hills kept coming and the rain never stopped. For a moment it wasn’t fun. It wasn’t until my shuttle picked me up on the wet road and I climbed into the heated front seat did I began to appreciate the feet at hand.
It wasn’t the farthest I’ve run or even the fastest. An inevitable nasally cold followed the 15 miles of running in the rain, but I knew in the back of my head I gone out and done what I had set out to do; go for the long run. I went to sleep easy that night with the day’s progress putting me to bed. I had managed to stay on track. I had crossed a new finish line and with the red-tape behind me, I woke up one day closer to the Big Race (Richmond Marathon, November 10th).
With the new sun and the long run the day before, I was able to rest easy and kick my feet up; progress had been made. With running and training for a marathon, progress can be easily measured. Distance and time, that’s all you really need to know. But running, and seeing the value of that progress, allows me to see there are other achievements that get lost in the name of the Big Picture.
It is important in marathon training to track your progress so that the 26.2 is just another long run in the history of many. But perhaps that same logic applies outside of the long runs and time on the road. A lot of people have secret ambitions, dreams they have night after night, unnoticed or not, that they strive for in the daytime, a naked ambition that lies under uniforms and clothes. Everyone has this, somewhere deep down and possibly hidden, and the only way to climb higher to your goals is to occasionally look beneath your feet to see how far you’ve come. To take that time to see what you have built and to know you are closer to the clouds then you were a day before.
Get outside and play, understand your true-progress, and go for the long run.