from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


According to my initial intent (each week increase daily output by one mile), by the time I had reached seven miles, each day when I ran I ran seven miles. I had never wavered from that model. In the first week, I ran one mile each day. In the second week, I ran two miles each day. I was not running every day anymore, as in the beginning, but each day of the new week I stuck with the newly acquired territory – three miles, then four, then five, etc. Once I had broken the barrier to a longer stretch, I had not gone back to less in any single day, never once.

I assume that was ambition, straight and pure. It wasn’t stamina. Believe me – you certainly don’t want to know how it felt.

At seven miles (which I did five times in a row) it occurred to me there would come a time when on certain days I would do less than my highest output so far, a maintenance sort of run. I wasn’t sure whether this was sound, or just practical. Daaah… sound is the equivalent of practical when what you employ is muscles…

Time concerns certainly rendered this premise practical. Once I got to 13 miles, for instance – apparently my confidence had soared – it would be hard to squeeze in the time for 13 miles each day when I went out to run. I was proud not to have ever had done less than the highest mileage achieved until that moment. It reaffirmed me. But it wasn’t practical.

I would have to step back, for the sake of wisdom. I would have to step back, for the sake of staying injury-free. I would have to step back, for the sake of still having a life. I would have to step back.

It’s hard to balance ambition with wisdom. Especially since I did not know beforehand I had ambition.


At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Paula said...

Ambition and wisdom? It seems you have both!


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