The ‘Why I Run Wednesday’ posts are a weekly feature exploring a past, present, or future reason why I run.
Why I Run Wednesday, week 11 and already feeling uninspired with a topic. A partial truth. The real issue is feeling anxious–incredibly anxious–about the upcoming birthday run.
Only 10 days away from running 30 miles, a distance I have never run nor one I have come close to in over a year. It’s not that I haven’t been training, it’s that I don’t know if I’ve trained enough… or if I’ve based my training a little too heavily on completing my last marathon on a “long run” of six miles (due to nursing an overuse injury that thwarted training but didn’t stop my stubbornness from completing a race I had registered for months in advance).
I mentioned in WIRW #10 that Jen and I are reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly in tandem. As an average dedicated runner, I know it’s tough to console us. Whatever happens happens is reasonable in theory, but it takes until after the big event to truly become believable. This morning though, Jen reminded me, “hey, you’re daring greatly you know.” My internal gut reaction went something like this, “should’ve prepared more… should figure out the details more fully… should have just gone with a 30K (18.64 miles) to celebrate turning 30…” In sum, a lot of ‘shoulds’ that are taking up too much space.
So here I am, jotting down what I find completely overwhelming about turning 30, which has nothing to do with the years, but everything to do with the miles and a fear of failing miserably at a somewhat arbitrary goal I’ve set for myself.
Let’s clear out that negative space with only a 3K (a mere 1.86 miles) worth of shame…
1K: Unconventional training (only 20-35 miles of running per week)
2K: Nagging injury (this thing with my leg, it continues to be a bother even after chiro/PT/soft-tissue/rest/etc. that is more irritated with speed work, and more manageable with longer/slower efforts)
3K: Just plain feeling overwhelmed with Ultra Birthday
On to the good stuff. Here’s to vulnerability with 30 miles worth of gratitude and being present practice…
Miles 1-9: These first nine reasons are for each of tonight’s unexpectedly great miles. First of all, the temps were ABOVE zero and secondly, I didn’t plan to run nine miles but they sure added up nicely and averaged at sub-Ultra Birthday goal pace.
Mile 10: I had approximately five minutes to get ready after tonight’s run before heading to Five Watt, a coffee shop in South Minneapolis. I opted for a shower over throwing together dinner, so the delicious, flaky, just enough butter spinach and cheese croissant, washed down with a well-made chai made for the perfect post-run refill.
Mile 11: Speaking of food, I day dream about pizza and smoothies will I run. Lots of pizza and smoothies.
Mile 12: Finding a little bit of humor in startling pedestrians as I burst by through the snow, as they take up the full width of the sidewalk and ignore my warning that I plan to pass them.
Mile 13: New shoes. I picked up a pair of the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 with NeoShell technology (waterproof!) and a rugged outsole ideal for wintry road conditions.
Mile 14: New pants. Windproof and snug pants from Sporthill, with a pocket that holds an iPhone in place.
Mile 15: New top. Just this past weekend I decided on the top layer for the birthday run; the Brooks Drift 1/2 Zip. A windproof layer that pairs nicely with a wool base layer.
Mile 16: Okay, enough about running apparel. I realized Ultra Birthday is my goal, and I am reminding myself that working toward the goal is something to be proud of.
Mile 17: 30 for 30 on 30, in the winter. I Googled “running 30 miles for 30th birthday” and many of these 30 year olds either have summer birthdays or live in warmer climates. The midwest in the winter just adds another element of awesome (and unpredictability) to the fun run.
Mile 18: Clear paths ahead. I am super grateful that the bike paths are typically cleared not long after it snows. Hence, my chosen route around Harriet, Calhoun, and Isles in ten days.
Mile 19: Hey, I love running.
Mile 20: 10 miles away from completing my first ultra!
Mile 21: I find a lot of joy in planning my pre-race breakfasts and January 30 will be no different. Since I get to choose my run start time (at the late hour of 10am), I’ll have plenty of time to consume a filling pre-“race” meal.
Mile 22: Water. Sooo refreshing as the miles pile on.
Mile 23: Turmeric. I am grateful for the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric.
Mile 24: Foam roller. Possibly the #1 recovery tool.
Miles 25-30: Friends and family at the start. Friends and family at the finish.
So why do I run? For the ultra birthday celebration!