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.