Last night around 9:00pm I started back into running and what a run it was for me. This month marks the anniversary of five years of running.
Sending my body into motion down the dark rolling country dirt road for a seven mile loop in complete darkness I was able to soul search. The sky was filled with heavy dark clouds that block all possible light from reaching the earth. Knowing the course I choose not to use a headlamp and just run on feel. The only light I would see over the next seven miles was from my Garmin that was set to only illuminate on the mile to provide a quick glimpse of my split. Each stride was in part me running with ground and brief moments I would draw upon what I taken away from running and how it had revealed my character.
Looking back at my relationship with running it was been very eventful. My first run/race was a 10K mix of trail running & mt biking. The run portion was about 4 miles for me and I recall in the second mile I shook my head at the realization of how hard running was for me. Over the years I have had other moments that tested me to my limits and that have been overwhelming incredible too. Running is hard for me; the shortness of breathe, the pounding of hills, the burn in my legs and the spurts of discomfort that arise through the journey of a run. Do I enjoy the pain that comes with it? Yes, I thrive on digging deep and overcoming it. I battle through a majority of my daily runs, especially on runs like this where it is just me. It is the moment the run/race finishes that I find an overwhelming amount of joy within the accomplishment.
The biggest thing I learned tonight was that I possess the ability deep inside to conquer any run while still enjoying it many facets. Leadville was very humbling and has been an experience I will never shake. Instead of walking away and being defeated I now see that I gave up momentarily, not forever. Within hours I knew that I will be returning in 2011 to compete again. What do I feel this says about me? That I don’t truly give up. Yes, I had a lapse in what I feel poor judgment, but I am not giving up on myself. In two weeks I plan to finish 2010 with another 100 mile feat. Heading to the Finger Lakes of New York for the Virgil Crest 100 mile. When I toe the line I know that this time I will be in possession of a new belt buckle when all is said and done. Whether I run, jog, walk or crawl I will carry myself the entire 100 miles and prove to myself that I have the determination to see this through.
"Running does not build my character it reveals it"