Sunday, February 27, 2011

Birthday Countdown

It is officially birthday week in my household. March 1st will be my husbands and March 4th is mine and we will both be celebrating our 27th birthdays. Not only have we spent our lives pining away for one another and experiencing all of our greatest moments in life together, but our birthdays are also in the same week. Some may think its quite sick how perfect we are for one another, we just think that we were given lives greatest blessing to have all of lives experiences with your best friend.

With 27 looming around the corner, and my exciting NYC weekend just days away (I'm a so excited about this I cannot even put it into words), I still feel like a kid. I fall down, I cry and whine, and I often make some really big mistakes about the right path for my life. Age has always felt like just a number to me, and I don't feel old. So gray hairs and wrinkles are slowly creeping their way into my life, but the reality of what age actually feels like to me is still a mystery that I have yet to solve.

My body has always cooperated fairly well with me. Yes I've had minor set backs with stress fractures, planter fasciitis, tendinitis, and lost too many toe nails to count, but at a few days shy from 27 I have never felt as strong and competent in my bodily movements as I do at this stage in my life. Maybe its the yoga or even the resistance training, but I have never been more confident in my physical abilities then I am at this very moment.

About 6 months ago I when I was training for the Chicago Marathon I was a hot mess. I knew that my body was reaping the benefits of my grueling workouts, but my mind was constantly questioning my abilities. I would find myself wasting countless hours a day wondering why I ever thought that I would run a 3:15 marathon. All I could think about was that my body was capable of long distances, but only at a leisurely pace that wouldn't mess with my mind. With all the hours of hard work I put into my training, I had lost the race long before I had even headed to the starting line.

While not much time has passed since that fateful race, I feel like it was eons ago. Since then I have grown exponentially in my ability to believe in myself. Sometimes it takes a terrible failure at something that we had great desires for to realize what a putz we are. And I was a putz for sure. No one in my life doubted my abilities, I was the only one who thought that I wasn't strong enough or capable enough to achieve the dreams that I had set for myself. It was self sabotage, and I was a successful saboteur.

Today I am recovering from yesterdays 15 miler in terrible footing. My legs feel great, and my mind in clear. I managed to run progressively, which has been my main focus lately. There are 10 weeks until my half marathon where I am confident that I WILL break 1:30, I will feel amazing doing it (well that is debatable, I mean running fast doesn't always feel good), and I will have a blast doing it. 13 miles at just under 6:50 would have shattered me mentally this time last year, but today while I know that I still have weeks of hard work ahead of me I will do it and it will be amazing.

Steve Prefontaine said something very profound during his short life, that "you have to wonder sometimes what you are doing out there. Over the years I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."

My personal successes are untouchable by others. I run for myself, and I will as long as my body allows me to do so.

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