Yesterday I ran 20 miles, the longest run of my training. I’m three-quarters of the way there. Four weeks from today I will leave our Asheville Bed and Breakfast and be in Chicago running my first (and most probably only) marathon.
There have been good runs and bad runs and even a few awful ones. But yesterday was stellar. The day conspired to make it special. It was 55 degrees when I left the house at seven AM, just as the sun was rising over the mountains. As the golden light spread across the tree tops, the smell of Autumn, dry leaves warmed by the sun, was in the air. I ran through the Grove Park neighborhood, across town past McCormick Field (home of the Asheville Tourists) through the River Arts District (where I briefly raced a long freight train) and over to Beaver Lake and the beautiful old homes in that area. By the time I finished, running home by the University, the Farmer’s Market was in full swing and I dodged children and dog-walkers along the path. I felt good when I finished. My legs were tired, no joke, but I wasn’t exhausted by any means. I ran it exactly as I hope to run my marathon.
It’s a lesson I have had to learn more than once. I need to run my own race: to focus inwardly and stay true to how I run best and what I need to do. One of the perks of running this race at the age of sixty is that I get credit just for finishing. No one is going to be asking me about my time! My least successful runs have been those I ran with others. It was lovely to have the company but in trying to match their pace (or at least not slow them down too much) I lost my timing. I have to remember that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, who is watching, or what they might be thinking. What matters is what I am doing and thinking. (And honestly, most of the time people aren’t watching you or thinking about you at all). It’s kind of an obvious metaphor for life!
There is, however, one thing you can do for me. Send me your music! Music is the thing that keeps me going more than anything else. And I think I have listened to just about every song I know of in the past four months. So if you have an minute, go to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast Facebook
page and send me your suggestions. It would be much appreciated (and it will also let me know if anyone actually reads this!)
On to Chicago!