Today while I was going through my running journal, a entry caught my eye. A couple weeks ago I took some time to travel out to Lapham Peak in Delafield to run on my ABSOLUTE favorite trail (the black loop at Lapham). I ran 2 black loops and could not have been a happier, more content, and totally satisfied runner. It was not about covering the 14 total miles in any certain amount of time but it was about the time I was spending out by myself, just the trail and I, and self-reflecting on what I have over come over the 30 years of my life. My competitiveness, my struggles with the loss of loved ones, a very frightening accident that almost paralyzed me from waist down and the daily reprecussions as a result, my lack of patience, and hoping someday we can all care less about status and more about self-reflection.
I thought deeply about the power of “pacing”. Both in life and out running on the trails. Anyone that has run the black loop at Lapham understands that pacing is pretty crucial and anyone that understands the life of a distance runner understands that without pacing oneself, outcomes are rarely reached.
What I discovered was that I don’t run for exercise, I don’t run for the fact that it makes me a healthier person, and I don’t run to beat the person up ahead. I run because it represents a freedom and accomplishment, it shows to others that with persevereance and determination one can achieve so much more that they may think. If I wanted exercise or health I could choose so many other outlets but there is no outlet like running long distances that each step represents an obstacle overcome.
My goals stand strong. I WILL represent the United States in running and will make each step towards that goal stand for something far more special than anyone other than I will EVER understand. The journey will be a special one, filled with my amazing support system that continues to keep me on the right track, caring about me and my well-being just as much as my running, and providing the best rehab. 2x week in keeping me on top of the game. After a conversation with that such person the other day, he reminded me that my health in the long run is far more important than this next season of running and that too brought back to me the importance of pacing, enjoying the journey, and being SO grateful for those that continue to strive in helpng me reach my goals. My friends, my PT’s, my Dr’s, and my family… you are so awesome.
That being said. I have talked those helping me accomplishment my dreams. 2010 will kick off the “distance runner”. Overcoming Enormous Obstacles One Step At A Time. Each of us has a limited number of steps they will take over a lifetime. I can only wish that each person enjoys each step. I will be focussing on the marathon and ultra-marathon distance races and hope not to win each race but to accomplish each goal set forth. Whether that is coming in first or simply striding over each obstacle placed in my path, I will be happy. The trials are 2 years away, and I want nothing more than to be standing on that start line. It is not who has the most talent, it is who has the mind, body, spirit and determination to take each step on the journey. I feel that no one truely understands what I possess inside and no one has even seen what will surface come 2010. Dedication I have, but just wait, I have so much more to show.
I ask all fellow friends, runners, athletes, those that want to accomplish their goals; pace yourself, enjoy the journey, and NEVER GIVE UP!