I got a text from English Pete yesterday calling off Saturday’s 50 k run. It turns out his sister flew in from England as a surprise… I wish I could say that I was disappointed, but I’d be a liar – let’s face it, I don’t need anyone else to run 31 miles, I could have done it anyway. Instead, my buddy Marc suggested that we celebrate the fact that we won’t be running 31 miles by running 13 instead so we’ve got a half marathon on tap for Saturday morning. This distance is much more “up my alley” as I’ve never run more than 13-1/2 miles before.
I would have done the 31, relying on a little help from my friends in getting through the rough spots, but now I’ll be able to walk on Sunday and I’m quite happy about that. There will be a group of us running and I’ll probably stick with them and not worry about pace and time, depending on how fast the group runs. It’s been my experience that if I run too slow it actually hurts more – undoubtedly because I alter my natural cadence, but I have yet to figure out a comfortable way around that.
This leads me to a moment of gratitude… I’ve never been as fit as I am right now. Just last year, I would have had to train for a month just to think about running a half marathon (let alone 31 miles). Today, with near certainty, I’ll be able to plow my way through having only run one 9 miler in the last several months (the rest were all 5-7 miles). This is all due to cycling – a lot of it.
And cycling leads me to yet another moment of gratitude. How often have you been able to stand in front of a mirror and say to yourself, “now that’s all good”? That is how I greet every day. I ran three times a week for years and still hated how I looked in the mirror. 12 months, an average of a little more than an hour a day, and I no longer think about getting my gut liposuctioned off, it’s gone. Oh how thankful I am that I can look in the mirror and be happy. I’m not perfect, by any stretch, but I’m pretty freakin’ good and I absolutely dig it.