Tales From the Road

Friends of this blog know that I committed to running a half marathon in honor of my 50th birthday. Although I originally planned to run the 1/2 in November 2011, I decided that was far too long to wait so I signed up for, and ran, the Zooma Women’s 1/2 Marathon in April – 4 days before my 50th birthday.

I haven’t blogged much since I started preparing for the race, due in part to the time it took to get ready.  I’m always a little hesitant to use the word “race” because I’m a slow runner.  So the mornings when I would normally blog or tweet, I was outside somewhere, running and walking and generally enjoying myself.  I remember Roger Soler telling me that he doesn’t run marathons any more because of the time it takes to train.  I understand what that means now.  If you go out and run 8 miles, it takes the time to do the run, and then the rest of the day to lay around and be exhausted.  Okay, probably not for Roger Soler, but that’s my general training plan.

Cynthia McKenna on Garden Gate Blog

This is me just before I ran 8 miles, with a little help from Kendall Jackson

I was afraid that this blog would turn into a blog about running and I didn’t really want that to be the focus.  Now it’s June and I think skipping the “blogging about running” was a mistake.  I learned so much from the training and running, lessons that can be applied to other aspects of life.  I missed out by not sharing them.  So here’s the plan:  I’m going to blog about running, and hope you’ll come along for the ride.  There will be regular “Garden Gate” type posts too,  but writing about running will free up some of my brain space and besides, I think it’ll be fun.

The single biggest lesson I’ve learned (so far) is that I’m strong.  I mean that in a physical sense.  I can run 14 miles and not die.  I can run when the weather is cold or hot or really windy – it might not be pleasant, but I’m strong enough to push through it and “get ‘er done.”

I’m also strong emotionally.  I had knowledge of my emotional strength before taking on the 1/2 marathon, but I have a “don’t give up” spirit that I haven’t been tapping into enough.  My training for the 1/2 marathon generally meant that I’d get dropped off miles from my house, and I’d have to get home.  I could run, I could walk, I could crawl if necessary, but the only way home was “through.”  I had to run through my fear of failure, through my aches (and internal whines about being much too old for this sort of thing), through legs feeling like lead, through disappointment that I wasn’t running an 8 minute mile (man I’d love to do that.)

Katy Perry’s Firework is on my running playlist and includes this lyric:

“It’s always been inside of you, now it’s time to let it through.”

That sums it up for me.  We have inner strength that we don’t necessarily use and it’s time to let it out.

You gotta ignite the light and let it shine!

Baby,  You’re a Firework!

One response to “Tales From the Road

  1. Cynthia, I love that you wrote this. I agree: running is the easiest teacher I’ve ever had. Sometimes I want the big aha. But running is all about the little ones that, when cobbled together, make an amazing whole. I can’t wait to read more about your running. I have a weekly series on my blog. I ask different runners to write 500-600 words on “Why I Run.” I post them on Tuesdays. Would you be interested in sharing?

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