Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Mile


I've always had a weird relationship with the last mile of a run.  On the one hand, I look forward to finishing.  In about 8 minutes I'll be stopping to enjoy the tingle of a receding blood flush and the calmness that washes over me as my breathing and heart rate returns to normal.  I'll soon be in the shower.  And since I usually run in the early evening, finishing marks the end of the last "must do" task of the day.  Rest and relaxation awaits. 

On the other hand, I don't want to stop.  There is a part of me that rebels against the knowledge that I am almost done.  Like a school kid fighting to lengthen the last days of summer vacation, I'm content in a moment that I don't want to end.  Some days, I feel like I could run forever. 

I think this internal dissent is a hold over from the days before my training came consistent.  I loved training, but still felt like I had to take the joy as it came.  Because I wasn't entirely convinced that this lifestyle would (or could) truly become a part of my life.  Everyone has times in their life when things suddenly come to an end.  Sometimes these things are out of your control and sometimes you think they where out of your control.  Sometimes it was never meant to be.  I was enjoying an upswing for the first time in many years and It felt almost too good to be true.  It took time to get both my self esteem and a belief in myself back.  I had to rebuild my library of reasons why I should do something and then dispose of my collection of excuses I had to do nothing.

But time heals.  These days I'm confident that I've found a true life long passion in endurance sports.  Or maybe it found me, and I never really had a choice in the matter.  Either way is fine because it turns out it wasn't too good to be true.  It may even have been meant to be.  So by the time I've got a quarter mile to go, I'm at peace with the fact that I'm close to finishing the last mile.

At least for the day.

12 comments:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Ah yes, the eternal lament - you cross the finish line and ask, that was it? I'm done? What now? Glad to hear you're feeling at peace in sport and life.

Jennifer said...

I love those "run forever days" They are the best, so I say, "why not run forever?" Cheers!

TRI-james said...

Run forever in training but just get the damn race over.

"why do you run so hard? because it feels so good when you stop!"

misszippy said...

The last mile is the longest...so you can stretch this one out!

Emz said...

Great post. Loved this one.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

I 2nd paragraph is so true ... except if on a treadmill ...always ready to finish then!

Christine Jensen said...

Ah, in a race that last mile sign is my best friend. It is permission to pick up the pace, to give it that one last push for a PR! I LOVE that sign :) Even on a training run, I love when I know I have only one mile left. Sure the run is over, but I have already accomplished so much in that days run, and now I have one mile left in which to prove myself. One mile left to push for that extra burst of speed. Yep, I LOVE the one mile to go sign. I think I need to buy one for my house, just to make me smile.

lindsay said...

Very poetic. I wish I had a run-forever kind of day more often! Sometimes I am in the mood... until I start running lol.

Luke said...

my last mile is the longest, but always the one that makes me the happiest becasue when I finish I know I have accomplished something.

Caratunk Girl said...

Ahh...those run forever days!!

This is so well written - I love the last mile if I am in the race, it is my cue to really push harder. But I like how you say it is kind of bittersweet - because really, it is kind of a bummer that it is over....but you are kind of happy it is over too.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

I really like this post and can definitely relate! Some days I feel like I can run forever and I don't want to stop, but other days when it's tough whenever I get to the last mile I always think, " I can do anything for one more mile," and it gets me through.

Glenn Jones said...

If you don't want it to be done with a mile left you haven't run enough marathons.....

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