I think I can?

Tuesday can sometimes seem like the longest day of the week for me…running wise. My training plan gives me Fridays off so by Tuesdays, I start to get a little freaked out.

Yesterday I did a pretty easy 3-miler on the Lafayette Moraga Regional Trail. It’s a really beautiful, rolling trail that winds through the hills above the towns of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda – a region known locally as, “Lamorinda.” The trail follows St. Mary’s Road, which is named for St. Mary’s College. As Northern California is experiencing an unusually warm winter (read: massive drought!), spring is beginning to appear and the Bay Area is like paradise right now. 

My run, however, was not the best. There are some hills but nothing terrible. But somehow it still seemed really difficult. I felt like I was huffing and puffing through the whole run. As I came down the final hill toward the end of the run, my competitive spirit was bashed and my confidence was shaken. A woman jammed past me pushing a DOUBLE stroller with 2 small children, including a newborn on one side! The intellectual side of my brain keeps trying to remind me of rational stuff like how I know NOTHING about that woman, how she could be an ultra marathoner, how she could have only been running for 30 seconds before I saw her, etc etc. But the emotional/caddy side of me reminds me that she’s jamming past me with twice the number of kids, one of whom is a new baby and a much larger stroller than I have and that I’m supposed to be training for THE BOSTON MARATHON!

Productive thoughts? Clearly they were not.

Today was a 5-miler. I was able to run it earlier this morning than usual because my husband was home. I decided to change things up and run Shell Ridge, a hilly mountain trail at the base of Mt. Diablo, which has an access point about a mile from our front door. It’s an absolutely a stunning place. Most of the trees still have no leaves but the hills are turning green, the sky was cloudless and bright blue and the air smells fresh and clean like dew. 

I snapped this shot heading into the second half of my run. Isn’t that sky beautiful?

Running alone always feels really therapeutic but pushing my training as hard as I am is taking a toll on my confidence. My speed is really slow right now and I’m finding myself constantly concerned about whether I’ll qualify for Boston and about how realistic it is to shave as much time off my speed as is necessary in the 7 months I have before the Santa Rosa Marathon.

My husband keeps reminding me to just run and enjoy myself. He keeps telling me to focus on running my first marathon. He keeps bringing up these simple and excellent points that I keep wanting to deny because my goal is SO BIG.

I haven’t found all the perspective I clearly need but I’m doing my best. Today was a lovely day in so many ways. And you know what? I got to start it by running 5 miles through some beautiful hills. Maybe that’s all the perspective I need!

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