The quiet miles

by Alexandra London-Gross on November 30, 2012

in Living, Running

Every Saturday morning begins the same way: alarm goes off at 6am, tea kettle heats up, eat something small, change into running clothes, lace up shoes, out the door by 7am. Its a routine I’ve become comfortable with. Most weekdays I find myself awake at 5am, so I’ve come to appreciate the extra hour of sleep. There is less dread of the early morning, and more of a sense of satisfaction for checking off the miles of that weekly long run.

But my one crutch is the motivation of meeting someone to get in those miles. A friend to help pass the miles, someone to set the course, to keep me motivated. The thought of having to run 10+ miles alone terrifies me. While I know that I am physically capable of the run, it is my mental state and bad attitude that I know can stop me in my tracks.

What I started to realize is those long, quiet miles are the one time when I am most in my head. When negativity can shine through, or worries about my job, or family, or future, when it feels like a struggle to take one more stride. I feared running with others for a long time because I wasn’t fast enough, wasn’t strong enough, couldn’t go that far, the excuses were endless. And now its something that I’ve become reliant upon to quite my racing mind. The mental challenge of running was something I didn’t feel prepared for. I didn’t expect to start crying four miles in one Saturday morning. I didn’t think that my mind could stop my legs from running up one more hill. I didn’t realize how honest running would make me. Those long, quiet, and sometimes lonely miles have forced me to accept where I am today.

On Sunday morning I will wake up at 5am one more time in 2012 to run 13.1. I’ve spent too much time this week worrying about being the very last person to cross the half-marathon finish line, about having to run by myself on a course that hasn’t always been friendly to my mental state, about having no one there to greet me at the finish line or cheer me one when my mind says stop. But I signed up for this race for myself. To push myself out of theĀ  3 mile comfort zone, to challenge my body and my mind. And to realize that it doesn’t matter how fast or slow I am on that day, because it will be whats right for me.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

DrMomma November 30, 2012

WE are so proud of you. You are a strong, delightful and giving woman. This is one challenge you are ready to complete!!!

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } November 30, 2012

The last one to finish is still a FINISHER! I highly doubt that will be you, but even if it is your still running oh, about 13 miles more than the majority of the population this weekend. You can do it!

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Krissy @ Shiawase Life November 30, 2012

So excited to see you this weekend, I have missed you!!

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen November 30, 2012

You will do wonderfully, I know it. And the whole part about not being able to lie while running, about it forcing you to be honest with yourself…and the crying thing? Wow. You put it into words SO beautifully.

Do you want me to come cheer you on?

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Sarah November 30, 2012

You are so strong! I have loved having you as a “get our butts out of bed to run” partner, and I am so there for you Sunday! Whatever your goal – if you want a buddy by your side all 13.1 I am there, or if you want to face the miles by yourself for the mental challenge, I will go whatever pace my legs decide on and be there at the finish line for a hug and high five.

Thanks for undertaking this crazy adventure w me. Our mutual bday doesn’t seem so long ago, huh?! But you never would have believed then you’d be ready to run 13.1 by now!

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