Earned my bragging rights…
After a great training this weekend at SLO, I am back out there hitting the pavement. Today was a pretty momentous day in my training. After logging over 150 miles in my old shoes, I decided to retire them and so I got to run in brand new shoes. This may seem like a pretty menial event; however, in the life of a runner, it is truly exciting. For me, new shoes not only signify more comfort and that special “new shoe smell”, but also how far I’ve come. Just 3 months ago, I could barely run 3 miles without huffing and puffing. Today, I ran 16 miles and felt amazing. These exact shoes will also be the shoes that I will cross the finish line with next month.
If that wasn’t enough, I also got another sign that the marathon is very close. My 2nd toe nail on the right foot popped off. Prior to running marathons, I have never lost a nail. However, when I am training for marathons, this always happens when I am in the midst of my high mileage. To me, it is a sign that I am exactly where I need to be in my training. Remember when I told you in the beginning this wouldn’t be all glitz and glamor? The truth finally comes out.
Lastly, I had a very interesting conversation with my neighbor Jeff today that really got me to reflect. Quite often marathon runners lose sight of all their small accomplishments. The only runs that seem to count for us are the actual marathon and any timed races we have competed in leading up to the marathon. As I passed Jeff going into the apartment, he asked me how far I had just run? Very nonchalantly, I responded, “16 miles.” His response, “Where did you go?” When I spouted off all the streets and neighborhoods my feet just graced, he just looked at me amazed and said, “Wow, I would be annoyed if someone told me that I had to drive that far and you just ran it. That is truly amazing.”
I would like to thank all of you who have believed in me and supported me throughout this process. Your comments, your donations and the wonderful people that I have met all around the country in response to this blog has been incredible. Thanks to Jeff, I am starting to believe that every mile is an accomplishment. I couldn’t do it without all of you. 🙂