I’ve done it and I’m super proud of myself. I have officially finished my first 5 weeks of marathon training and today I logged my first double digit run in over a year!
There’s a multitude of reasons that running is beautiful but one of them is that you can run anywhere, anytime. No equipment to prep or possibly malfunction, no special roads are needed, no plan except to strap those running shoes on and start running. If you are fortunate enough to own a Garmin or other mileage tracking device you simply turn that GPS on and go wherever your feet lead you. Log mile after mile of beautiful scenery until your legs and lungs are maxed out.
Today I was in Vancouver, BC, and I was mesmerized with the scenery around me. I found myself quite amazed at where my legs, my spirit, and my fabulous running shoes could take me. Over ten miles I climbed the very steep Lion’s Gate Bridge, ran the Sea Wall for a few miles while I watched a sea otter playing out in the ocean and was just awe struck by the magnificent eagles flying overhead. I was refreshingly sprayed by the ocean slamming against the wall I was running on. I saw a public pool that sat at the ocean’s edge like prime real estate, a slide out in the ocean water, and eventually found myself amidst high rise buildings and city life. At this point I turned around and made my way through green parks and dirt trails cutting through the rainforest. I found myself thanking the trees for shade and begging the mosquitoes to find another victim. I thought for a moment that my exhaustion was getting the better of me when I saw a jet black squirrel running behind me (I stopped to take a picture for proof). The entire run (except those moments when I wanted to keel over and die at the top of some insane hill I had just climbed) I kept thinking…
10 miles, 10 miles…it’s amazing what kind of terrain one can cover in ten miles. How lucky am I to have seen all of this? To have experienced it? Yeah, I feel pretty damn lucky.
At times I was all alone with my thoughts and with nature. At times all I could hear was my breathing as I climbed steep hills. I was completely connected with me. Me and me alone. Other times I was drowning out the noise of city living with tunes on my shuffle. And other times I was surrounded by others like myself who were setting out on their journeys to achieve something greater than themselves and to connect with the beautiful life that is all around us.
This is what running is for me. A connection to myself and a connection to the world outside of myself. A chance to achieve things that are challenging and rewarding. An opportunity to dig deep and find exactly what I’m made of. A chance to breathe, to connect, to feel alive. So very very alive.
I hope that each of you has something that inspires you to keep growing. That inspires you to step outside and see life beyond your cubicle, the walls of your house, your mundane. Get out there and explore. Get out there and connect. You will thank yourself for taking that step. That step toward feeding your spirit and feeling alive once again.