I had no intention of writing about this run. No, I’ll take that back. I had EVERY intention of writing about it, and sharing my amazing accomplishment of running 12 miles… until I didn’t run it. Right around mile 7 or so, I simply couldn’t keep running and was forced to walk. After talking with my dad (who is a runner) and doing some research online, I’m pretty positive that what I experienced was a slam into the proverbial “wall.” There are so many things I did wrong during that run. For two weeks, I had skipped all off my short runs to give my knees a rest. The week before, I’d eaten horribly every single day and drank very little water. The morning of the run, I skipped breakfast and didn’t drink anything except a few swallows of water before the run, and a few more after mile 5. My muscles simply couldn’t handle being depleted that way, and gave out on me. But regardless of the reason, the result was a feeling of failure.
I didn’t beat myself up over it – in a way it was a good lesson for me and I accepted it as such. But although it was my longest run to date, I didn’t share it with the people I usually share things with. Specifically, I didn’t share it with my aunt, even though she is a huge part of this journey with me. I didn’t share it because, to me, it wasn’t a victory. It wasn’t something to be proud of or excited over, it was a stumble on what has been a long, hard (albeit exciting and wonderful) journey for me.
But then today, while I was running my 15 minute miles, hurting everywhere and wanting to curl up on the side of the road and cry, it occurred to me: there IS no failure in this journey. Every single run, whether it’s a 15 minute run, or a 20 minute run/walk, or a personal record setting sprint, is an achievement. Every single time I get out there and go the distance, I’ve accomplished something. And even though I have days where I sit on the couch and eat nothing but potato chips and cookie dough… It’s not a failure. In a way, it’s not even a setback. It’s just a moment in my life. There will be 10 mile run moments and couch potato moments… there will be 12 mile run/walk moments and sprints to the finish line when I don’t think I have anything left in me.
So, today I’m sharing the fact that I ran/walked 12 miles on Friday. Because regardless of what my goals and expectations were, I accomplished something.
And that’s something worth sharing.