I ran 11 miles outside this morning between 10am and noon. I finally got off the couch at 9:50am, after my morning nap, after I slept past 8:30. My plan was to run 10 miles with 8 miles being acceptable.
Once I was on my way, however, I decided to finally figure out how far it was from my apartment to the entrance to the Wedgewood neighborhood. I ran this neighborhood once during my Boston training, but I entered it from the north side and our starting place was the running store. The Wedgewood neighborhood is one of the hilliest in Columbus. I plan on using this neighborhood to do hill workouts and build my overall running strength.
I knew I was close to this neighborhood from a few of my earlier runs. I just didn't know how far I was from the north entrance. I chose this as my goal because it was the midway point on our 23 miler this past March. Wendy, a good friend of mine and fellow marathoner, used the sign at the entrance to hide our water and fuel. I knew once I could figure out how to get to the entrance, my runs could be limitless from my front door. I set a goal to find out one day how far that sign was and I decided that today was the day.
I wasn't overly concerned with how far away the entrance was. When I started running I used to worry that I would run out too far and not be able to make it back. I had images of myself walking and crying and being stuck out in the middle of a trail. But now...distances no longer intimidate me. I have the confidence to run to a specific point. That point could be 5 miles away, 10 miles away, 20 miles away and I know I can make it. I am healthy and strong enough to make it.
That health and strength also tranlates to other areas of life. I could go to New York City tomorrow and I could walk all day around the city. I could go to Disneyland and have the energy to spend the entire day at the park. I could do most cardiovascular challenges on the Amazing Race. I even told a cardiologist that if I ever have heart trouble I will be PISSED.
I can still remember being a fat kid. Hating to run the mile in PE class. Knowing that I sucked at sports and never being picked in the first half for teams (I wasn't last pick, but often close). I still think before each marathon, while waiting for the gun to go off, "what am I doing here? I can't do this." Then having to remind myself that I can. I have before. I will again.