Running and Commitment

As the countdown to Berlin Marathon Training Day #1 continues, I’m thinking about commitment and what it means to commit to marathon training.  Like any commitment, whether it is to a job, a significant other, or a way of life, committing to a 16-week training plan is a well thought out choice.

A choice I made when I signed up for the race and a choice with which I will stick to the end, whatever that end may be.  Sometimes the end is unfortunately injury, but that is also its own rich journey.  Commitment does not guarantee continuous ease or simplicity or enjoyment but, in my experience it does guarantee growth.  Commitment ensures I will honor myself by honoring my choice.  I will do that run because I’ve committed to training and, lets be honest, running a race of any distance is much more enjoyable when you show up prepared from proper training.  Consequently, regardless of how I feel physically or mentally after any given run, there mere fact that I did the run means that I have put another token in my commitment bank.  As this bank builds up, I find that I am able to withdraw from it on those days when I don’t feel good physically or mentally.  With this in mind, I love logging my miles because it is a very tangible and satisfying way to see the fruits of my commitment.  When my mileage total continually inches up, all of a sudden that second to last seemingly maniacal propulsion up Cat Hill (Central Park), which felt impossible at the time, no longer does.  Instead, it is only a fraction of a distance that blends into the fabric of the whole training experience, making my training armature more resilient.

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