The past two weeks have proven to be the most difficult yet. Balancing the desire to run with the death of a family member is a daunting task. For the first time in four weeks of training I could not muster the energy to complete my workout. I ended up passing on two more training sessions before finally regaining my stride. I am positive that my grandmother would not want me to quit my goal of running a marathon. Therefore, with a heavy heart, I will push on.
Week 4, Day 3:
While gaining the motivation to run when times are tough is not an easy proposition, once attained, running can be incredibly therapeutic. That is precisely the situation in which I ran further than I had ever run. Upon hearing of the dire circumstances of my grandmother’s health, I set out to jog in order to clear my head. My training schedule for the day prescribed a light 2mile run. I knew that would not be enough to gain perspective, so I set out to run until I was ready to stop. Six contemplative miles later, my body’s lack of stamina finally got through to my brain and I headed back. Something about running with no goals or time limits is an invigorating experience that can enlighten to human psyche. I found no answers to my questions and solved exactly zero universal mysteries. What I did come to terms with, however, was not needing the answers. I also learned that after running six miles, my legs couldn’t walk up stairs. Whether walking or running, getting outside and moving is an unmatched way to reduce stress.
Week 4, Day 5:
Amidst a whirlwind of grief, I actually found the time to drive myself to run the fastest mile yet. To the average runner, 7 minutes and 20 seconds is a cakewalk. But to a lumbering novice like me, it might as well have been a world record. Following the completion of this epic mile, I could barely breathe and my legs had become useless. Rallying the strength necessary to walk/army crawl back to my home was a feat not soon to be forgotten. Still, in spite of the exhaustion, it was a good hurt. That mildly impressive mile uplifted my spirits and helped get my jogging back on the right track. The first week under the stopwatch, I clocked in at a disturbingly pathetic 11 minutes and 37 seconds. It felt tremendous to shave over four minutes off in only four weeks of training.
Week Four and Five Summary
Heading to my hometown can often be a double-edged sword. I love going home, but the abundance of great food and sweet iced tea can wreak havoc on my diet. I am a sucker for delicious food and will pretty much eat until everything within reach is gone. Still, turning down good home cooking is not something I will ever do, regardless of what is at stake. After struggling through weeks four and five, I plan to once again hit the grindstone come Monday. Week six is shaping up to be a make or break segment in my journey to 26.2.