I had my annual physical yesterday morning. (I am pretty dang healthy except my BP is a little low) On the way to the appointment I was thinking about the other running blogs I read. I have surrounded myself with runners that are much further along their journey than I am. Most days that inspires me. But sometimes….
I am, by turns, jealous that some of them are in locations where they can run year round, hit with bouts of insufficiency by the times in which they run their miles, and astonished by the miles they cover.
After my appointment I hit the grocery store–snow was on the way–and headed homeward. On the way home I argued with myself about whether I would run or not. It was the first day over 20 degrees in several weeks. The sun was shining. And was going to snow the next day. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t run, but I had planned on taking the day off. As I put away the groceries and let the dogs out, I continued to debate. I even continued the argument as I changed clothes, laced up my sneakers and trotted down the driveway.
I told Daisy on the way out that I wouldn’t be gone long. Once I was running, the debate changed to distance to cover. I do, of course, have mile markers all along my road. I know where to turn around at the half mile point if I am just doing a warmup. My driveway is exactly 1 mile from the end of my road, making a nice 2 mile run. From the end of my road to Rt218 and back to my house is the perfect 5k.
I chugged up the first hill to the half mile, and passed it.
Guess I’d be doing at least 2 miles–yay me. At the end of my road, still debating how far I wanted to go, I kept going. Down through the old gravel pit, and up.Chickening out on the 5k, I turned left. There is a steep hill the left, about 250 meters in, so I knew I would turn around at the bottom and that would be the end of the argument. Except when I got there, I went up the hill. It is only about 200 meters, but straight up–think the beginning of a rollercoaster, when you go up and up and all you can see is sky. I crested it and decided to turn around; from there the road goes into a long winding slope that I really didn’t want to climb back up.
What does this have to do my fellow running bloggers? As I was running the last half mile, my legs moving rhythmically and my breath even (finally), I remembered that the journey is not about the destination. The journey is about the getting there.
I run because I love it, because it makes me feel strong, and because of the lovely feeling I get after a hard run and knowing I did it. I may never do 50 mile weeks, or 7 minute miles. I certainly will never be able to run year round as I have no intentions of leaving Maine. But that’s ok. That was their journey.