These are a few of my Favorite Things

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

I've been out wandering.  Back in March, I earned entry into the Marine Corps Marathon, and planned on training to not only run, but also to PR in the October race.  In May, I started on the path to another goal, the Runners World Run Streak, in which I would run at least a mile each day for 40 consecutive days.  But then I wandered.

Setting and reaching a goal is often difficult.  Knowing how to course-correct when a goal isn't going to be achieved?  That's so much harder.  

During the Runners World Run Streak, I successfully completed 25 consecutive days of running.  On the 26th day, I found myself too busy, too tired, and neglected to complete my run.  This lapse in the plan was hard for me to reconcile.  I felt disappointed and hesitant to let others know that I'd faltered in my quest. I felt like those 25 successful days were rendered meaningless without the other 15 to complete the sequence.  In hindsight, it's ridiculous and unfair to myself to feel this a total failure.  In the end, my Runners World Run Streak included 73 miles of success.  According to the challenge website, I placed 2251st out of 43,166 participants.  I may not have conquered all 40 consecutive days, but there's a lot to be proud of in that little challenge.

Stretching after a short speedwork session at the Mount Lebanon High School track.

Similarly, my best laid plans for Marine Corps Marathon Training have not been my best executed. Currently at week 5 of my plan, I've neither completed the quantity of miles nor the quality of speed and strength exercises I've planned.  Within the next couple of weeks, I will decide whether to tackle the race or to defer entry until 2015, and focus on shorter distances for the time being.

Morning sun on the Keuka Outlet Trail between Lake Keuka and Lake Seneca in New York.
I'm mildly disappointed that I've strayed from my plans, but, last week, I had a run that reminded me I'm not lost.   I'm proud to be involved with a series of virtual races called Nerd Herd Running.  Last week, the Herd held the Lord of the Bling 5K/10K.  Virtual races allow participants to run on the date and at the location of their own choosing.  I happened to be on vacation in the Finger Lakes when I went out for my race.  I loved the idea of running in a scenic, wooded area to best embrace the Lord of the the Rings theme.  After a brief Internet search of local running paths, I found the Keuka Outlet Trail, a perfect course along a riverbank, where I enjoyed wandering for 6.2 glorious miles.  I didn't have a particular goal other than completing the 10K, and, while completing the race, I remembered how beautiful it is to simply run, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the course, and celebrate small victories.

The beauty of wandering - found this waterfall during my Lord of the Bling 10K in Rivendell, Middle Earth.  (The part of Rivendell played by Penn Yan, New York)

Will I complete Marine Corps Marathon training?  Will I focus on shorter races?  Will I simply run for fun?  I'm not certain what the next few weeks hold, but I'm going to trust my body to enjoy the wandering and get a feel for what is next.  What I do know is that I will enjoy the wandering, and not worry so much about whether I am lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Fellowship of the Ring

No comments:

Post a Comment