the mile you’re on

I’ve been feeling trepidation about the 6 mile run on my training schedule. I don’t know why – I’ve run further before (10.5 miles is my current longest), but it was out there looming large in my mind.

Typically I do my long runs on Sunday because that’s when I have the most time. This particular Sunday was going to be a challenge. I was in Nebraska to start the morning (I live in fabulous Missouri), and had my fantasy football draft in the afternoon (go team Stat Girl!). But I had a plan, and I was just going to do it in the evening, it was going to be okay.

Then my car broke down on my way home from the draft, in a town 30 miles away. By the time my husband came to save me, and we returned home it was almost 8pm. I didn’t have it in me – I was tired, felt defeated and it was getting pretty dark. I was full of dread.

I took a deep breath and set my mind for the next morning. I woke up thinking about how my child was definitely getting sick (turned out to be strep throat with a side of pink eye, spectacular), my car was definitely not going to be fixed until Tuesday (at the earliest), and the rest of my plans for my vacation were likely getting ready to fly out the window.

That run that I had been dreading? I was ready. I didn’t care that it was 6 miles and that I hadn’t run that far in over a month –  at that moment I just needed out of the house. I turned on an ultrarunnerpodcast.com podcast and went out the door. The first mile I was just happy to be out on my own, but around mile 2 I started to worry about how I was going to finish 6 miles. I was traveling pretty slowly, but I just wasn’t sure. I was doubtful.

So I did the only thing I know how to do in those situations, I stopped thinking, I just put one foot in front of the other. I heard my watch chirp 3 miles completed and realized I was halfway, and I just kept going. And then that magical thing that happens when you start running far happened – my legs get a second wind. By mile 5 I was just happy. My watch chirped 6 miles before I knew it; I felt strong and accomplished.

That’s the thing, you run a risk thinking about mile 6 at mile 1. I had woken up thinking about the last three days of my “blown” vacation, instead of how to best spend the day I had available. I’d like to say that the rest of my Monday went well and I tackled it with a positive attitude, but it actually fell apart (and almost me with it!). That being said, yesterday is over, and now I have today. I could spend the rest of the day thinking about how this isn’t what I had planned OR I can just work on spending each moment in the best way available to me at that moment.

Be miserable or be happy… hmmm, I like happy. I think I’ll stick with the mile I’m on… and maybe bake some cookies too!

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