Training is in full swing for marathon number 2, and I feel great.  Today I had 11 miles on the schedule that easily stretched into a beautiful 12, and boy, did I need that.  My brain just wouldn’t shut up for the first 5 or so, but eventually I found the peace and quiet I longed for. 
Blue Eyes once told me that, in letting go, one must release the good as well as the bad.  I never quite got that until today.  My week was full of exciting things that set my head a whirl, and I found it impossible to calm down until I let it go on this run.  The adrenalin is over and done.  I don’t live there anymore.  I gathered it all up in a mental bubble and watched it float away in the countryside.  Today is a new day with infinite possibilities for more good stuff; the 12-miler was a terrific start. 
Focusing more on my pace this time around, it’s really killing me to keep the “slow” in “long, slow distance.”  I run exactly the way I do life.  I find a comfortable place and stay in it, regardless of the conditions around me or the benefits of moving out of my comfort zone.  I will risk injury in order to keep doing it my way.  It throws me off balance to do it differently.  
Battling my legs and energy level, but mostly my head, I managed to hold my pace down by about 60 seconds per mile for most of this run.
My first double-digit run was last March, and I remember how I felt in that last mile.  My back hurt – my shoulders were drooping.  I was in determined survival mode.  And I did it.  And I went on to run longer distances the same way.  Today, months later, I finished faster (despite the conscientious slower pace) and fresher, and I was ready to do it again.
I’m always looking for immediate fixes and gratification, but certain things cannot be rushed.  Some things – like good cheese, amazing sex, divorce recovery, and becoming a long-distance runner – just take time.  And oh, they’re all SO worth the wait.

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