Today I was scheduled to run 14 miles. Friend and coach Lynn would run the last eight with me. We agreed I would begin my solo run at 6:30 this morning. I would run a six-mile loop from a local YMCA. Lynn would arrive a little later and run three miles at her preferred pace. Then we would meet at the Y and run eight miles together. Before heading to the Y, Lynn drove the loop so that she could check on me. Did I need to discard my jacket? Did I have enough water? My personal pit-crew would take care of whatever I needed.
When Lynn found me on the loop she rolled down her window and said, “You’re right were I expected you to be.” Her statement had more meaning than she realized. Here’s why:
1. On Friday we finalized our plans for Saturday. We discussed the pace I would run for the first six miles. I wanted to run a smidge faster than I’m used to running when I “go long.” Last weekend’s eight-miler gave me confidence. The fact that I was exactly where Lynn expected me to be affirmed my pace is improving. But that’s not the best part….
2. Lynn often tells me one of my qualities she likes best is follow-through. She knows if I commit to something, I’ll do it. But Lynn didn’t know me when I was in the throes of clinical depression and sugar addiction. I often made commitments, and in the moment I had every intention of following through. But somehow I fell short. It wouldn’t have been unusual for me to make early morning plans, only to turn off the alarm and sleep through the commitment. She didn’t realize it but telling me, “You’re right where I expected you to be” was affirmation that I’m now dependable. I could have hit the snooze button this morning. But Lynn knew I wouldn’t.
As we ran I told Lynn I wanted to add an additional .25 miles to the run. I wanted to run farther than I’d ever run before. So how did it go?
I’m thrilled to report that I completed the first 14 miles five minutes and 20 seconds faster than my 14-miler from two weeks ago. And I ran the entire 14.25 one minute faster than I ran the 14 two weeks ago.
Today was my final long run before my next half marathon which is two weeks away. Looking ahead I’ll spend next week doing four-milers during the week and a six-miler over the weekend. The following week I’ll taper in preparation for the big day.
But back to the present. It feels great to know that…one day at a time…I’m where I need to be. And I’m right where I’m expected to be.