For reasons that had more to do with the head and heart than it did with the legs and feet, I found myself limping toward week’s end. It was Friday and I was stressed and exhausted.
Further, my running, which has been a traditional refuge was itself becoming a stressor. I have been ramping up my mileage while working hard to maintain my pace over these greater distances. And though these achievements have led to a heightened sense of pride and accomplishment, they have also served to augment my quickly burgeoning sense of expectation.
So yesterday, on half marathon Fridays, I took the easy way out. Rather than face the (self-imposed) pressure of finishing another half marathon under a prescribed time, I decided to venture further than my appointed 21.1 kilometres. Just to escape. To flee the world while it still lay sleeping.
Numbed by stress and spurred with the urgency to burn through life’s pressures I stepped into my Kinvaras and out under the inky early morning skies. Clad with a headlamp to light my way, I ran. I ran to reclaim my refuge. To reclaim my sense of self.
The run itself mirrored my transforming outlook. Starting in darkness. Seeing the first flickers of light on the horizon. And, eventually, finishing under the brightness of a blazing sun.
I didn’t tire.
I didn’t falter.
But I did find myself.