For about a week now I have had pain in my Achilles tendon when I run. The past couple of days I have begun to feel it even when I don’t run. This is my unfortunate pattern for years now. I rest a lot, then slowly get back into running; I build up the miles slowly, don’t run fast and don’t go far. Then I end up getting injured and have to rest a lot. Repeat. It has gotten a little old. After running all kinds of fun distances and events, it appears I don’t have what I used to have. I guess I shouldn’t have taken all those years off when we had kids.
Today, however, I did get in a run, which means 50 days of running in a row. I was going for 100 but I will have to see how I feel tomorrow to decide if I try to keep it up. On the one hand, this is a good streak, and taking it easy enough might mean things heal up and I continue the streak. On the other hand, this hurts. I only ran two miles today, and yesterday, and I had to walk a bunch, so is it worth it? Can I call that a run? So this accomplishment: 50 consecutive days of running. That ain’t too shabby.
I do love to run. Once I get out there and start feeling good, once I get some miles behind me, once I get into a rhythm and the endorphins start flowing, well, it just feels great. I have never been a competitor against anyone but myself, and I have always felt better trying to do more than trying to go faster. And that feels good as well. It isn’t a race. It is about going the distance. It is a metaphor, really, for how I want my life to be. It is OK to walk sometimes, even to stop altogether and to revel in where I am at that moment. I feel better about seeing the owl swoop from the maple than about having a run time one or two minutes faster. As Ben Cohen said, if it isn’t fun, why do it?
So I feel good about getting in 50 days. I may have to call it good with that. If so, I may try for 100 another time. I smelled the wild leeks in the damp woods today. The smell of onions floated through the mist. That made the journey worth it. I slowed to watch the river rush under the bridge. Two geese called, flying low through the fine rain. The world is a beautiful place. Sometimes getting half way is enough.