My running lately has been excellent, which is a dadgum miracle. Don’t ask me how it happened, but somehow I managed eleven miles Saturday. Actually, it was ten miles of running and one mile of run a block, walk a few steps, run some more, walk a few steps, repeat. That last mile kicked my arse. I was dog tired when I got back to the van. I have found that if you run far away from your car without cab money in your pocket you have no choice but to run back to your vehicle. Or hitch a ride, and while I may risk life and limb for a few daffodil pictures I’m not about to take up hitchhiking. To see my old Town and Country van in the distance is like seeing a lake in the desert. It beckons from a distance, calling my name. “Hula,” it says, “Shuffle just a little farther.” What it should say is, “Suck it up and RUN! Move it, move it, move it!!”
Eleven miles is not a big deal to many runners, but it’s a huge deal to me. I’ve been running for three years, and I have struggled with building distance. I knew it was a mental issue, and somehow, some way, about two months ago I broke through that mental weakness that was keeping me from pushing harder. I’m not sure how it happened or why it happened when it did, but it did. And to that I say, “It’s about dang time.” I am training for a half marathon that our city is holding Mother’s Day weekend. This will be the second one that I’ve run. The first was two years ago, and while I finished, I didn’t do nearly as well as I wanted to. I didn’t train enough the first time, so I struggled with that race. I don’t want to struggle this time. I want to be challenged but well prepared, which is why I’m pushing farther than my training schedule says. I want to get as close to thirteen miles as I can before the race. Slowly and surely, I’m getting there, one blister at a time. By the way, I highly recommend the Band-Aid Blister Care bandages. They’re excellent, and they’re helping me to get by while I work out the shoe-sock thing that’s causing my blisters. I’m also working on a couple of really nice calluses in my second toes. What do you call those? Index toes? By May, my feet should be gloriously ugly for flip-flop season.
My biggest challenge during those long runs is to stay focused. After that first hour, my mind can wander aimlessly if I’m not careful. Using my iPod has been a big help with that. I usually put it on “shuffle” and enjoy the surprises that brings. I plan to put together a well timed playlist for the race that will hopefully, put the right song in my ears when I need it most, but Saturday, it seemed the good Lord was giving me the songs I needed most at just the right time. During those last couple of miles as I started to get tired and struggle, a really inspirational song would drift through my ears, giving me a little extra push.
Now, I have all kinds of songs on my iPod as my music collection is pretty eclectic, but the songs that seem to inspire me most are spiritual. Nothing makes me run faster than David Crowder’s version of I Saw The Light or the Reverend James Cleveland’s Get Right Church, but the song that made me pick up my feet and keep me shuffling along during that last mile Saturday when I really wanted to sit down on the curb and wait for the bus, was this one:
Blogger wasn’t letting me post the actual video, so you’ll have to live with the link. Sorry.)
I discovered Saturday that Jaci Velesquez has a really sweet way of saying, “Move it, move it, move it!”
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