Monday, November 14, 2011
Today I ran 4 miles. It was part of my half-marathon training schedule; the part called an "easy run." Tomorrow morning I am running a "hard run": 5 miles at a slightly faster pace. I have another easy run later this week then a "long run" on Sunday, which will be 11 miles. The schedule has given me goals in my workouts. And it has been prayer that has made me stick to that schedule and endure the long runs, when just a few months ago I was running 4 miles at a time at the most and maxing out at 10 miles per week. Sometimes I just chant to myself "give me strength, keep me strong" with the rhythm of my breathing, and I really feel like that prayer-mantra keeps me moving when I physically should not be able to do so.
There are 27 days left of training until I run this race.
Then, I don't know.
I wrote a few months back a post called "October 2012." I posted that right after I found out that my divorce hearing would be in October 2011-- that I would be waiting in anguish a full six months after filing for divorce, eight months after separating, and so many more months before that of abuse and manipulation-- until I would legally be free of that toxic life. In it, I declared that I would not even think about dating until one year after that hearing: October 2012. I even included a directive to kick me in the shins if I even considered the idea of starting to date.
Before I continue, I want you to know that that directive still stands...
It is November 2011. I cannot say that I necessarily want to date, because even the thought still terrifies me. But I think that somewhere inside my head I had this cartoonish fantasy that once my wedding band was gone I would be beating off eligible bachelors with a stick. That hasn't happened. It has been a blow to my ego, to say the least.
My weekly "long runs" remind me of just how hard it is to be strong. As I sit here and type about strength and endurance, there are not many words that come to me that really embody what I feel when I am sweaty, tired, achy, thirsty, hungry, and wondering why on earth I am still running after 2 hours. On the same token, it is really hard to focus on who I am and what I need as an indvidual-- much harder in real time than it is just writing about it six months ago. Being strong is hard. Sometimes, when I'm exhausted, I think about how cool the end of the race will be. I think about people I love cheering at the finish line, and I think about how accomplished I will feel.
What would my life look like if I kept that same visualization during this first painful year after my divorce? What could the reward be if I stayed strong and pursued a life that did not depend on the approval of others?
I will keep to my training plan over the next 27 days, and maybe after the race on December 11th, I'll have a glimpse of the payoff that I'm seeking.