I ran my farthest distance ever yesterday. Fourteen miles, almost half...almost of a 50k. This is the first day it was really hard to finish the run. It was hot, my iPod batteries died just after the halfway mark, my legs got tired, really tired, and swollen, and achy, and my brain went into "I don't want to anymore" mode. I spent the last excruciatingly slow three miles of the run repeating to myself "just put one foot in front of the other, just put one foot in front of the other." I negotiated with myself a lot. It went something like this:

"Okay, if you just keep running to the next shady spot you can take a short break."
Two strides later, "There is a shady spot!"
"That shady spot is tiny and isn't even touching the sidewalk, you can make it to the next one. See, it is right up there and way bigger. You can do this!"
"I wanna stop! I just want to stop."
"You don't want to stop. You can do this. You can power through. Dig deep! You've got this. Be the inspiration not the quitter."
"No really, I want to stop."

My Mind's Tricks

Up until yesterday, I had run the distances of my long training runs before so my brain accepted that it could accomplish it again, so it didn't make things hard on me. But yesterday, that all changed. I tried to tell myself it was because I wasn't training well enough, and as that may be partially true, in my gut I know I have been training an adequate amount. I tried to find all sorts of things I was doing wrong to make it so hard.

Where the Magic Happens

It took me awhile to realize that this is actually hard and is going to take guts, depth, discomfort, and heart to pull off. In the past, this is probably where my training would have fallen off and I would have gotten discouraged, but I'm tired of finding excuses. I'm tired of blaming myself for being a problem. There is no problem here...this is actually hard and that is all it boils down to. There is nothing wrong with me and I have done nothing wrong; I have actually made great progress. There is a reason this is a stretch goal. This is where growth comes from. This is where the magic happens, on the other side of discomfort. I must experience it and do hard things to experience the growth I desire.

I am raising money for two charities: The Front Row Foundation and Our Pioneers. I am lucky enough to know the people who operate these charities and value each of their causes and missions deeply. So if you feel so inclined to support their causes and me through providing more inspiration with every dollar donated it would be greatly appreciated. Find my fundraising page here: https://www.gofundme.com/0to50k