Road to Fukuoka

While in town, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for several weeks. After we both said hi, his eyes became fixated on my face. They squinted, indicating something wasn’t right. After a couple seconds that felt like ten, he said,” You’re skin looks tight. Are your cheekbones larger?” A smile hit my face, and a sincere “thank you” left my mouth. Most wouldn’t take these blunt comments as a compliment, but with four weeks before my marathon in Japan, lean means fast.

For three months I’ve been amidst one hundred twenty mile weeks, workouts that would have made me cry in college, and the sleep schedule of the geriatric that are the predominant age group here in Blowing Rock. I’ve told Coach Rea multiple times that my legs have felt like shit, and his reply is something on the lines of, “marathon training is about putting crap in your legs.” Despite his lack of fatherly compassion, he has a point. It really isn’t much different than any other job. If you put in the work and push past the troubles, you’ll set yourself up for the best outcome.

At the age of 26, many would ask if it’s worth it. Is it worth telling your twenty-something friends,” nah, I can’t go to the concert, it’s almost 10 o’clock at night?” There are certain days, when my feet seem to drag and my conviction is about to crumble, that I might says it’s not.

I ran a half-marathon this weekend. The goal was to run at marathon pace, which I did. It felt fantastic, and it gave me confidence that I have a shot at running my goal time of 2:12. Just the mere fact that hitting two, then colen, then 1, then 2, on my keyboard sends an excited tingle down my spine, tells me it’s worth it. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. How rewarding is a goal if there isn’t any sacrifice?