The Good of Reflecting

Last night, I pulled out some of my old training journals. I’ve been keeping a log of my training for years now. Probably about 14 years. It’s pretty awesome to go back and look at where I was with my running; my distance, pace and how I felt at the time. I found the book that captured the training before I ran my 1st Half-Marathon back in January of 1999 (before the internet truly took off and long before BLOGS began or at least my blogging) Like my regular LIFE handwritten journals, I’m thrilled to have these journals. Even looking at them and seeing how my penmanship was is kinda neat. I have all sorts of books/logs. Some are ones I bought at running stores and are very specific with each day; GOAL. TIME. DISTANCE. AM PULSE. WEATHER. TEMP. TIME. TERRAIN. And others…I have simply used a good ‘ole yellow notepad.

So, reading the log from late 1998 into early 1999 was very cool. I was just beginning to run “long” as I trained for the SF Half Marathon. Here are a couple of entries from that time period.

Date: Jan 7th, 1999
Distance: 10.3 miles
“This was a hard one. Damn, I was tired after. I may have went out to quickly after eating lunch. I had bad pains at about 40 minutes. pain! But, I wouldn’t allow myself to stop. not an option. I even went over my time (goal) because I thought I was going slower and I was. My last 203 miles felt relatively strong. But, days (runs) like this one make me wonder how I can do 26 miles eventually. The only answer is will. My own will. Train, train, train. If I want to, I know I can do it. I can do anything. Thank God, I can run.”

Date: Jan 13, 1999
Distance: 13 miles
“Long, Long, run. My body has never felt so fatigued before. It felt like all I could do to finish. Gee, it was really tough. The last 40 minutes especially. I felt off balance, like I could fall. Disoriented. But, I met – BEAT my time goal. YEAH. This was the toughest run I have ever had. I’ve never felt so fatigued. Now, I know I can do it. I CAN!!”

AND HERE IS THE ENTRY FROM AFTER THE HALF-MARATHON I WAS TRAINING FOR:
Date: Jan 31, 1999
Distance: 13.1 miles
“Well, I did it. I really did it. A 1/2 marathon. I’ve completed something very big – quite an accomplishment and I’m going to let myself have it. I need more room to write than what is provided here in this training journal. It rained Saturday night so I thought it would rain in the race, but it didn’t. It was a little misty at the start. I almost can’t believe that I did it. It seemed like such a big feat and now it’s over. Kinda a bummer. I’m so proud of myself. Proud for many reasons – because I committed myself to something and stayed with it – because I never let myself quit – because I made a goal and smashed it. Because I stayed committed to a program and essentially, myself. The course was pretty and fast; a lot through Golden Gate Park and along the Great Highway. It was neat/refreshing to see the big waves as I ran. Some of the wind was incredibly fierce. It was just awesome though. I can’t believe how much the PowerGel helped. It wasn’t actually until mile 12 when I felt real tired – but now I know – I know I can run a full marathon and I will.”

So…there you have it. Some insight into my early thoughts as a runner. One of the coolest things about going back and reading these entries is how it connects me back to gratitude and perspective. If you know me, then you know I push pretty hard at all I do and sometimes lose site of perspective. I think we all do, don’t we? But the relfection also has connected me back with joy and excitement of running and racing, which I can also lose site of sometimes.

As the days near to race day this Sunday, I am already quite excited. I’m lucky to be alive. I’m fortunate to have legs that work. I’m blessed to be able to run. AND, I am gonna try like hell for my #1 goal.
Finish time: 01:59:59 or better!

I urge and encourage you to TRY! TO GO FOR YOUR OWN GOAL! Whether that is running a 5k, swimming a mile, getting a college degree, playing the piano or walking across the street. JUST GO FOR IT!

ONWARD.

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