This taper has taught be how much I love running. How much I love training for a goal. I’m still kind of ( ok, super) nervous about the race on Sunday, but I’m not sure how much of that nervous feeling is actual nerves and how much of it is a severe emotional imbalance due to lack of endomorphins.
Last week I ran about 28 miles. This week, even less. I’m exhausted from being sick with a viscous cold and yet it feels like I haven’t run at all for such a long time. Two years ago, 28 miles would have been a solid week. A normal week of running. But slowly and surely, because of the Run the Year challenge and marathon training, my mileage has crept up to 45 miles a week. And now that is what my body craves. But more importantly, what my mind craves.
My mind loves the feelings that come from running. Not just those incredible endomorphins but all the other feelings. The freedom. The pride. The badassery. But most importantly, the emptying of my mind.
My mind is like an old dry erase whiteboard in a college math classroom. The erasers are so dirty that they don’t actually erase anything but rather smudge black around the board. You can still see everything that was ever written, in layers upon layers underneath the new and ‘important’ writing on top. Imagine different colored markers, lots of messy writing, lists, proofs, arrows, diagrams….every corner of the board filled with layers on layers of ‘important’ things. And it never gets erased.
That is my mind.
And the only thing that manages to erase that board is running.
A a good run or a hard workout is like a kind janitor coming in the room with a bucket of clean, fresh water and a new sponge. Taking the time to clean every corner of the board.
And then I feel free again. I feel that I can take on another day because I now have space for it.
But this taper? Let’s just say mind white board is really, really dirty with a couple of spitballs stuck to it. And a sick student was just escorted from the room after vomiting. Yeah, I really need a good hard run to clean up my mind.
So instead of being nervous looking forward to Sunday, I am now yearning for it. Yearning for that bucket of water and fresh, clean sponge.