|The day I qualified for Boston|
Any endurance athlete will tell you that your greatest ally and most dangerous enemy is your own mind. The key to running long is a combination of a strong body, a focused mind and a burning desire to want to achieve the goal - a desire that must burn brighter than the fear and pain that comes with pushing your body further and further...and further. I don't think I've ever wanted anything more in my life than to run the Boston Marathon. Boston is the fire that burns brighter than all of my doubts and struggles to balance my professional life, my personal life and my running life.
Long run days happen once a week, and they can be a real emotional roller coaster ride. I've been struggling with Iliotibial Band Syndrome since September of last year, and the persistence of tendon pain resulted in a delayed start to my marathon training for Boston. If it weren't for Boston, I likely wouldn't have started increasing distance at all as pushing a stressed IT Band is a dangerous game. If a runner pushes a strained IT band too hard, the risk could result in the runner being plunged right back into the depths of IT Band Syndrome once again with weeks more rest and no long runs for weeks - even months. For the last seven weeks, I've pushed my body hard to make up for lost time, and to get back on track to completing a strong marathon in Boston. It's been a tough time - full or physical pain and mental struggle.
Today brings me to the "8 week to go" mark in my training. 8 weeks to go means 6 more weeks of heavy training and then the even MORE emotional roller coaster that comes with the two week taper. I had a really strong run today that left me feeling more positive than ever about my Boston Marathon. However, the exertion of laying down a great training run has left me emotionally spent - as it often does.
If only it were as easy to apply the dedication and discipline I have for running to other parts of my life. Some people see running as a hard thing to do....I see it as the easiest part of my week. For that, I feel both happy and sad. Regardless, I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep chasing the dream.