By Any Measure
Success by any measure is the measure of persistence and consistency. While I haven't been feeling great during my training runs lately, I have maintained a level of consistency that today was rewarded.
Up early, on the trail in the darkness of night. It was a much more solitary morning running without the usual crowds of runners. Seems many of those runners are, no doubt, putting their feet up and relaxing before toeing the line up north in Dallas for the White Rock Marathon. Crisp morning air welcoming me to what would be a breakthrough morning. I didn't feel particularly strong starting out. I was quick to hold back knowing I would be pushing myself to go 15 miles. Spence, my usual Saturday morning compatriot was going to be doing 10 so I was hoping to crank out 5 before meeting up with him. Problem was...I was a few minutes late to the trail so I didn't know if I'd be able to meet up with him, with 5 under my belt before our predetermined time... then something happend. Mile 3 and Mile 4 I felt great... didnt' keep close track of my time...I just knew everything was feeling good. When my mile beep went off, I looked down to find 2 sub-9 minute mile (8:52 and 8:54) Yes, Mr. 8 came a calling and I was glad to see him!
At mile 5, without breaking stride Spence comes darting in from the parking lot. Pace was good and spirits were high as he was about to embark on his first double digit mileage run. I was a bit surprised when he told me he had never done anything over 7 until we starting upping the distance this year. Last week he flew through 8 and was ready to push it to 10. Good conversation, good pace and good karma took us through the morning... until, in my infinite wisdom, I decided we needed to break up the morning with a few hills at the 13 mile mark. Mind you I had already bagged another Half Marathon PR by this point (I've knocked nearly 10 minutes off in the last two weeks...true testament to persistence.) The challenge of a hill or two, in theory sounded good, in pulling it off after 13 miles -- not so much. Spence seemed to have no trouble, but it was at that point my legs started to suffer. As we pushed on I remembered a recent interview I heard with Austin's Desiree Ficker about the amount of suffering she endured when she took 2nd in Kona. I realized that my paltry pain was just the beginning of what so many bring upon themselves for success. Knowing that...I could take it.
We continued through the morning realizing we had done well. We both hit a few PR's along the way and, in the end, realized the measure of moving towards our goals is so much more than numbers...there is no measure for the satisfaction of realizing and proving to yourself that "you have done well."