I’m finally getting serious about my marathon training – especially as my foot is more or less cooperating. But I won’t lie, it is hard business, especially with my work schedule. It is not only finding the time to run, but the motivation not to crawl into bed. Instead of finding excuses of why I won’t run, I remind myself of why I am running and that, yes, indeed I can run. It is sobering to remember that there are so many service members who should not be physical able to run after the trauma they have been through, yet through sheer determination (and some great prosthetic technology) they are not only walking, but running marathons, climbing mountains, and competing in the para-olympics. So what if I’m tired, I CAN run.
The constant switching between nights and days is hard, but when you are working nights, when do you actually run? For me, its nearly impossible to do it before work, I just can get up at the equivalent of 2:30am (reality 2:30pm) and then bike at 4:00 and then work 12 hours. Although trying to run after working and a bike ride home is also seemingly impossible. But I did it. After finishing my 2nd night shift for this cycle, I got home, dropped off my backpack, changed out of my bike shorts and shoes into my jogging clothes. I was tired. I yawned. I didn’t want to do it. Going to bed was so incredibly tempting, but I thought of those who cannot run, those who should not be able to run and do, and I reminded myself that I was capable and just needed to push my brain a little harder.
Well…I did it. I got out on the trail and the battle of wills began. My legs were sluggish, my yawns were intensifying, and my body wanted to curl up and sleep. I knew I had to push through, it didn’t matter if I ran a 9 minute mile or an 11 minute one, I knew I could do 3 miles. One foot after another, time stood still and my legs slogged through. One mile down. I started to cave. I stopped, stretched, walked. I looked out at the Washington Monument and the Capital building. It was a beautiful morning. I remembered how pretty the sunrise was when I biked in. Then it was time. I was hopeful the caboose would restart faster, with more energy than before. Sadly mistaken.
But like Thomas, I kept moving, steeling my mind against my fatigue. And then, like out of no-where I finished. I made the three miles. I knew I needed win my stumbling block, so I pushed on another quarter mile. It may have only been 3 miles, but the mental challenge was one of the hardest runs I’ve done. I’m glad. It made me remember that I can run and I am running so that others will able to do run again too.
Want to help? Check out Team Fisher House: https://www.active.com/donate/FisherHouse2012MCM/jheller27