I have had such a hard time running lately. I feel like I just don't have it in me anymore. I'm having a hard time staying motivated. Don't get me wrong, I love running, but when I have to wake up at 4am to do it, it kinda takes the fun out of it for me.
I think I've mentioned before but running to me is about 80% mental and only 20% physical. So when I hit these little mental blocks, my running really suffers.
I've been worried this whole last week about whether or not I had stress fractures on my tibia again. After a week of resting it and taking it easy on the treadmill, I am VERY happy to say that it is officially NOT stress fractures, and just really bad shin splints. YIPEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I ran outside today for the first time in a week, and while my shins were pretty frikkin sore, by about mile 4 they were pain free. Now that's what's up!!!!!!!!
I was a little bummed starting out my run this morning because I forgot to start my tracker so I had a whole mile unrecorded, but that's okay. I'll just have to remember that I really did 8 this morning, not 7. It was also a little hard (and strange) because it's just so dark. Honestly, it's dark outside at 4:30am. And because Tucson has an awesome observatory and an amazing sky, there are no streetlamps. So you are running in pitch. black. Kinda scary. I had my phone out for the first 15 minutes shining my flashlight on the trail so I wouldn't step on a rattlesnake. I was really praying I wasn't going to be attacked. By a person or an animal. About 2 miles in I was ready to turn around and go back. But then the trail made a bend out of obscurity, and I saw the amazing Tucson sky - filled with stars shining brilliantly against the smooth midnight blue sky. I stopped. Right there in the middle of my run. I just stopped and stared. It was astounding. I said a prayer of gratitude and continued on my run. Over the next 6 miles, I was able to run through the most vibrant sunset of bright orange and shocking pink, and the strangest shade of pale lavender. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen. The way it rolled off the clouds and broke through the darkness was a thing of wonder. And it all unfurled behind the silhouette of the gorgeous peaks of Mt. Lemon. Honestly, the whole thing was just breathtaking, and I admittedly teared up a few times along the way as I watched it in wonder and amazement. The words to one of my favorite hymns popped into my head, and I turned off my iPod so I could hear the heartfelt words in my head and feel them resonate within me: "Oh Lord, my God, when I, in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder. Thy power throughout the universe displayed." It played over and over in my head as I, truly in awesome wonder, considered all the wonderful creations of my Father in Heaven. The beauty of the whole Earth, and my body - as weak as it sometimes is - that somehow is so resilient time and time again. In that moment, I realized I had overcome my mental block. I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and immensely grateful. This is one of the reasons I love running so much. It's very spiritual for me. I have my most heartfelt talks with my Father during some of my long runs, and I feel His might and power so deeply as I allow myself to connect with the quietness and calmness of the run. It may sound strange or cheesy, but that's just the truth of it.
I feel grateful today. I feel capable. I feel strengthened.
Just under 8 miles today in just under an hour. Not too shabby.