Tomorrow I get to run 12 miles. When I think about it I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. I know I need to get to bed early and rest up – but it’s hard, because I get to run 12 miles tomorrow!
It’s been a while since I’ve felt this kind of excitement toward running. 2014 was a tough year by any standard I set for myself. This isn’t to say that there wasn’t a lot of good in the year: I had a lot of fun: travel – on my own and with friends, two Ragnar Trail Relays (Atlanta and McDowell Mountain), three Ragnar Road Relays (Del Sol, Cape Cod and Adirondacks), supporting friends as they worked toward new goals, and lots of live music, great food and nights out with friends. But throughout it all I was struggling to find my footing at work, at home, and on my runs. I over-committed and under-trained, and the results reflected that.
I got my motivation back late last year (a Boston marathon acceptance notification went a long way toward helping with that), but then an injury and two months of hard, often painful runs. My mental countdown to Boston turned from months into weeks, but even as the pain began to subside, my doubts grew – was it too late to get in the training I need – not just to perform well, but to cross the finish line?
Finally – just in time – it’s all coming together. I feel healthy and strong. With the help of a great coach, we have a training plan that I’m confident will get me there. And I’m having fun. I’ve missed pushing myself and exploring what my body can do. I’ve missed those days when I’m not sure at the start if I have enough in my tank to hit my targets, and then discover reserves of discipline and energy that are just what I need, just when I need it.
Most of all, I’ve missed the self-confidence that comes with setting a goal, and putting in the hard work to achieve it. Tomorrow it’s 12 miles, next week it’s 14. And in 9 weeks (plus a couple of wake ups) it’s Boston. Really, how am I supposed to get to sleep with that to look forward to?