The stores are a madhouse filled with lists and supplies that have been picked over, rummaged through, and hastily placed in the wrong bin. We’re trying to get past the realization of how old our kids are by their level of school they’re starting. We forget that while kids getting older means that we’re getting older, too, it doesn’t mean that we’re old just yet. I’m not hanging my running shoes up when my oldest moves on to graduate in a few years. Summer break is coming to a close and school is about to begin.
For training, this means I’ll probably need to head to bed earlier if I need sleep. It also means I can take care of my cross training needs in the daytime now. I’m in week 5 of 16 weeks of full marathon training. This weekend will be my furthest run I’ve done in a single day. I get to run 14 miles. This is just the beginning of milestones in running during my training. This is just the beginning of milestones in my kids’ schooling. One of my kids is starting kindergarten. How exciting that we’ll be enjoying such new experiences and accomplishments at the same time!
I didn’t get to mentor last week. This evening, I’ll be back at mentoring for the half marathon training. We’re running 4 miles that incorporates our hill workout tonight. The hill workouts help me really see how much stronger I’ve gotten over time by how much more I’m able to do than I was before. I find myself taking hills during training runs that I used to need to take pause in running. I still occasionally find a hill that isn’t my friend. I’m talking progress instead of perfection, though. I have come a long way. I like to see other people make accomplishments like that and realize what they’ve gained from running.
Summer break is ending. The end of summer is just around the corner. Training in the heat and humidity will be in the past and new challenges will arise. The days will get shorter and evening runs will be darker. A first frost will likely settle onto our surroundings before the Saturday in November where I’ll wake up and run 26.2 miles after putting in the training for it. The experiences will stay in my head, though. Each long run spent getting to know a running partner might fade into memories of the highlights. Each mile becoming a single stone in a path paving the way to the finish line and continuing on to the next miles and the next finish line. Somehow, no matter how similar the training is for 2 people, their paths never seem to turn out exactly the same. That’s what makes running from something mundane to something beautiful. The story is never really about the end, but the journey in getting there.