Even when no one is listening…

Eight Miles Down

This morning was so awful that I literally went back to bed and started over. Awake once again, I felt:  weary, broken and vulnerable. Ironically, that’s when I feel the most motivation. Two months has passed since my last long run of 6.5 miles.    I’d lost my taste for running. Dwindled my mileage down to one mile runs every now and then.  The pressures of marathon training overwhelmed me. Twenty-six miles seemed impossible.

They say you’re only supposed to increase your long runs by 10% each time. So after a couple months of short runs I felt super behind. Maybe because according to my schedule I am. haha. Those close to me know that I have a hard time sticking to a strict schedule. It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want to. And I’ve been in the business of blazing my own trail for the past year and a half. The free spirit in me doesn’t like even the hint of being tied to something. The idea of having children terrifies me. Honestly, I don’t want to be responsible for anyone other than me. Let alone another being for eight-teen years. Yes, I know that may change in time. For now though, this is where I am at.

If my heart isn’t in something then it can’t be done. I am not a half-way sort of girl. Either I am going to do something right or not at all.

The night before my twenty-fourth birthday I set my training schedule on fire. As I watched the ashes crumble in my kitchen sink I felt free from outside expectations and my own personal criticism. I decided that my next long run would be eight miles (so much for the 10% increase). I didn’t set a deadline. From that moment on, I was going to center myself by focusing on my intuition. Somewhere along the way I had stopped listening to my body. The plan was not to have a plan. Rather, I would live my life. Staying active in various ways until I knew the moment had come to face myself again during an eight mile run.

These long runs are EXTREMELY personal to me.

My first solo 5K: I went through the entire alphabet listing people that started with each letter. Making a mental list of the lessons they had brought into my life.

My first 10k: I ran a mile for each of my brothers: Shawn, Michael, Malachi, Camren, Colby and then 1.5 for myself. Concentrating my love and thoughts on our relationship, memories and journey.

Today’s 8 miles: I ran a mile for seven loves and a mile for myself….

  • Mile #1 – For the love of my life that I had to walk away from to stay true to myself. Listening to Foster the People.  Fastest Mile.
  • Mile #2 – For my best friend that I had to let go. Listening to Daft Punk & Death Cab for Cutie. Easiest Mile.
  • Mile #3 – For my godfather, Terry. Listening to Stacey Koziel. Restful Mile.
  • Mile #4 – For my soul mate, Victoria (in a totally non-lesbian way). Listening to The Lumineers. Hardest mile mentally.  
  • Mile #5 – For my sister, Amara. Listening to Glen Hansard. Happiest Mile.
  • Mile #6 – For my father. Listening to Parachute. Hardest Mile Physically.
  • Mile #7 – For my mother. Listening to Parachute, Dubstep & Medicine for the People. Longest Mile.
  • Mile #8 – For ME. Listening to He is We & Death Cab for Cutie. Most Empowering Mile.

Dripping in sweat, sore beyond comprehension, I stumbled to the stretching mats. There I breathed into my muscles while writing out the raw  snippets of  clarity I found within myself in relationship to each of my loves. This is how I will continue my journey to 26 miles. Facing myself on that treadmill. Placing one foot in front of the other until I am done facing my demons. Guess I’ll be running for the rest of my life….



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