I’ve started training for the NJ marathon. I pulled a tried and true training program off the internet, began Tuesday with a five-mile run with Linda. I forgot how cold it is at 5:30 in the morning but dressing in layers helps. I ran Wednesday morning, Thursday night, took Friday off. I texted Linda last night to firm up plans for a long run this morning. She was in, we’d meet at 7:30 at my house.
I checked the weather on my laptop before walking out the front door – 12 degrees, feels like 1 degree. We ran down to the corner, turned right and headed out on a route we’ve run many times. The goal was eleven miles, a distance I haven’t tackled since the Labor Day 20K road race in September. I wasn’t sure I could do, had included that point in my text to Linda, but she assured me we’d go easy.
We ran along familiar streets: Whitney, Millbrook, Ridge Road, Orange Street, Prospect. We hit a biting headwind on our way back, northbound from New Haven. At times, especially on the hills, I slowed, the wind threatening to push me back. I pulled my hat down over my ears, my gator up around my neck and soldiered on.
We did it! We ran eleven miles, slow. My pace was close to 10:00, I’m sure Linda could have run faster but she hung with me. In the past I would have been disappointed with my run, my pace. But that was then, this is now, and I’m able to put it in perspective; I’ve been running a couple of days a week for the past three or four months. This morning marked this week’s fourth run with another planned for tomorrow. My sore legs and slightly achy back have carried me twenty-five miles so far with another six in the pipeline. For years, my baseline mileage would have totaled more than the distance I’ll run this week. Before last Tuesday my baseline was close to zero. It’s humbling if I compare me, then, to me, now. But, as I eat humble pie I think it’s the best I’ve ever tasted.
Anyone else ever turn a humbling experience into a positive one?