I did it, ya’ll. I ran today, further, faster, and stronger than I have ever run.
I set out to do 7 miles before work, mapped out a course, and went on my way. First off, let me give a shout out to Mother Nature – thank you for making a cool, breezy, and gorgeous day today. You deserve some credit here. I mapped out a loop that started and ended at my parent’s house. Five miles in, I was at the point where the next 2 miles would close the loop. I took a deep breath, realized I was breathing and not gasping, and decided to re-trace my steps and make this a solid 10 miles.
At a few different points on my run, I reached opportunities to cut the route short and return back to my car. When I hit those moments, I proclaimed, “let’s do this!” and found ways to make my route longer. By the time I reached my car, I had hit 10 miles. Some crazy competitive athlete began to take over my brain. “10 miles? 10 miles? Hell, Liza, you did 10.1 last week – you gotta at least beat 10.1!”
10.1 became 10.5 which became 10.7 which became 10.9 which ended at 11.1
And, whadda you know — I sprinted the last 1/4 mile.
In that last 1/4 mile, I heard myself say, “This is it, Liza. The last long run before Sunday. It’s done. The training is done.” I inhaled. Exhaled. And kicked @$$ home.
The journey, for sure, hasn’t been easy. But, little life gifts pop themselves into my day that keep me smiling. My friend Angela has offered to custom make a shirt for me, and each “draft” she sends me skyrockets my excitement.
Today, I received a beautiful note from my friend, Liz. It feels amazing to know that others have struggled. And, while I spend a good deal of time writing-and-deleting-writing-and-deleting, I know that the honesty we read and share here is so worth it.
From the brave, strong, amazing Liz Dixon Neilson:
I can’t believe that the race is this weekend. I think I registered for this back in January, within minutes of when you posted the idea. I’m not sure why I felt so sure–in that moment, that running with you was important for me to do. I am so, so, glad that I did.
It has been amazing training with you, even if we weren’t literally hitting the pavement together. I often think about how strong you and Joli are when I am running, especially at times when I am challenged by the physical aspect of running, or the mental/emotional stuff that comes along with the process of training.
Reading about what came up for you, especially those times where things got messy, helped me too. Your wisdom in writing about all of it, not just the “good Zen stuff” was a huge part of that and I really appreciate your bravery in putting it all out there.
When we were up in Maine this past week, I did a long run on my own, in the rain, along the coast. Marshall drove eight miles away from the house and dropped me off. Even though it was our plan, once we were there, in our mini-van, on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, I really struggled to get out of the car. I was scared–that I might get hit by a car, that I might not see my family again, that I might get injured somehow, that some scary backwoods man in a pick up truck would pull over and abduct me (I know, so random), and of course, the perpetual fear that I might fail. As Marshall U-turned and drove off, I thought about you and your fear about the surgery. And how you are doing it anyway. And then I ran home.
So, thank you. For being amazing, for writing about it, and for taking the rest of us along on the journey with you. Looking forward to Sunday.
Naturally, Liz brought me to tears. I know that feeling of being scared, terrified, not knowing if you’ll make it back to your family. That’s exactly how I feel about this surgery. And, that’s exactly how I feel about not doing this surgery. So, thank you, Liz, for your beautiful reflection here.
I’d love to post more from friends, readers, runners! Please message me and let me know if I can post some of your words of wisdom, struggle, and encouragement.
Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. For, it is on the shoulders, wings, and words of our friends that we will rise above even our own expectations of what is possible.
Peace, love, and going further than we ever thought we could,