The days are shorter and much colder than they were even a month before, yet I’m still beating the pavement running towards something and running away from other things. This March I participated in my first Half Marathon (you can read about that here). It was equal parts grueling and rewarding. In hindsight, I didn’t train consistently as I should have. Additionally, I was working through my first few months of being alcohol free. Not an excuse whatsoever, but there were challenges for me while juggling those two goals. Today marks my 424th day free of alcohol. Most of the time I feel like I’ve mastered that habit, still it’s a thought that often permeates my thoughts. Not in the sense that I feel like I will start drinking again, but the feeling of not being in control. Therapy has taught me that you’re only fully in control of yourself, everything else outside of you has conditions. This is mainly the reason why I continue to run, I’m fully in control of myself at that very moment.
“Though I tarry through the valley of death, my Lord give me pasture. If you want to be a master in life, you must submit to a master. I was born to lock horns with the Devil at the brink of the hereafter. Me, the socket, the plug, and universal adapter.” - JAY ELECTRONICA
The old me and old habits are still trapped somewhere, but I have no intentions of letting them out. My focus has strictly been on being better than I was the day before. With that at top of mind, I’ve committed to reducing my race time by an hour. Sounds hella gutsy, but sometimes you have to throw out an absolutely absurd goal to see if you can actually achieve it. My official chip time for this year’s race was 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 24 seconds. I’m looking to conquer this next race in 2 hours or less. I have a few things going for me here - I’ve lost approximately 30 pounds between the training for the first race and now, I haven’t missed a day of training (yet), and I don’t have any other competing demands.
My running pace for my first half marathon was not something I’m entirely proud of, but I finished the task. Perspective hits me in the fact that not too many people can even run, let alone run for 13.1 miles non-stop. I continue to run, because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to. I’m 37 now, not quite at my peak. I still have a good 30 plus more years or more to continue to push myself. I still run by virtue of the demons still chasing me - binge drinking, negative thoughts, non-commitment. I’ve come to realize that I have angels running alongside me daily - constant progress, positive affirmations, consistency. Simply put, I have hell behind me and heaven beside me. As a result of that, I’m still running.