Yesterday I tried to run 18 miles. Usually I run with my friend, but she was in Vermont for the weekend, and I wanted to stick to my training plan from Hal Higden. I was running in Franklin, NH on the Northern Rail Trail Route. It was absolutely refreshing to be making my way through a tunnel of brilliant green new leaves. I’ve been running on this trail for the past month, and it’s been fascinating to watch the color progress to it’s current intensity.
The sun beamed down on me, and I felt great in my intergalactic blue leggings and black sports bra (small note of success: I finally found the Livi Active which provides adequate support). At mile 8 I was feeling energized and thinking positively about running. I listened to my music, I whisked away the miles. I thought about my upcoming trip to Minnesota, friends there, friends here, my zine. I ate gels every four miles, and kept sipping on my waters that I carry on my belt. At one point I was even dancing, but it probably didn’t look like dancing to anyone around me. More mental dancing. The trail followed the old railroad leading West toward Lebanon, and beyond that, Vermont. The river on one side, a small lake on the other, little farm houses in the woods, a dam on the river, a sign about the old mill that used to be here.
Unfortunately, by mile 10 all my enthusiasm had sweated off. By mile 11 I was walking and by miles 13-16 I was hobbling back to my car. The pain in the arches of both my feet was unbearable. A few tears were shed in the writing of this blog entry because running some days can be really damn difficult.
It feels like every time I’m mentally in the right place to run, my body is not there. Or conversely, when my body is there, my mind’s not. And so we go around in circles.
Even if I don’t end up competing in the race, I’ve run further than I ever have in my life this year. Sixteen miles is no small feat! I’ve now know how to fuel my body for an endurance sport, and I’ve been able to push myself to confront some inner mental barriers, mainly that my body is bigger than a lot of other running bodies. And I maintain very hairy armpits. I used to think these things mattered.
I used to think I could let cultural norms determine how I perceive and access my own power. Now I know my power is there. I can access it whenever I want.