Monday Meditation: Runner toughness

19 Aug

As I was contemplating my training from now until the MHR half on October 13, I reflected on how much stronger I’ve gotten through the miles. It’s hard to believe that this time one year ago I was just over a month into training for my very first half marathon. The longest I had ever run was 8 miles. Now sometimes when I run 13 miles, I feel like I could go longer.

The following quote really sums this up:

“It takes guts just to step out the door for a run, let alone take on a half-marathon. This is what makes the running community so remarkable. For in that shared belief in pushing limits and venturing into the murky waters of a previously undoable race distance, there comes to exist a community of people buoyed constantly by hope and a sort of learned fearlessness. The weak grow strong. The strong carry on.

I don’t know if there’s a proper way to define toughness in a runner, but I do know that there comes a sudden moment when the mindset shifts. The impossible becomes doable, or at least attemptable. The long run goes from two miles to four to ten to fifteen, until it becomes routine at some point deep in an intense training cycle to knock off a couple hours without giving it a thought.”

Martin Dugard, Running Coach & NY Times Best-Selling Author

People are often in disbelief when I tell them how far I’ve run on the weekend or that I’m working on another half marathon. You can imagine how many people I’ve had tell me I’m crazy. I always reply by reassuring them that not only am I completely sane, it took me a long time to be able to run like this.

The miles didn’t get easier, I got stronger.

Even now, some miles are more difficult than others. I may struggle and I may slow down, but I keep going. I know that each and every one of those hard-earned miles is the foundation for mental and physical toughness. The hardest earned miles are the ones that produce that intense feeling that fuels the next goal. It’s why after recovering from a challenging half marathon (or two), I look forward to the next.

I think I need to read this.

Something you will never hear me say is, “It’s *ONLY* a half marathon.” It is so much more than that.


6 Responses to “Monday Meditation: Runner toughness”

  1. Jenny August 20, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Have I ever told you that I love your meditation Monday posts…

    • Nikki August 20, 2013 at 9:47 am #

      Thank you! I enjoy writing them and am glad you love them!

  2. Fiona likes to blog August 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    “The hardest earned miles are the ones that produce that intense feeling that fuels the next goal.” Never a truer word was spoken!

  3. cldem August 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    I love this whole post. It is amazing how tough and strong you become so quickly as a runner, and even more so once you let yourself become part of the running community and be supported by others.

    Last night at a work dinner I was talking about how this year I will run 4 half marathons (2 more to go) and in January I’ll complete my first full, and people were blown away. I don’t look like a runner, so I think that adds to it, but I have to remind myself that it is amazing that I run these things. Gosh, 10 years ago you could not have paid me to put on shoes and run for a couple of hours, now I pay other people to do so? Who am I?

    • Nikki August 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Who are you? You’re a tough runner!

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