My long run was the ugliest sufferfest I’ve had in ages

My long run this weekend went about as poorly as any can go.

By mile 7, I felt like I had run 14 miles. I still had 6 to go. My legs simply hurt. Everything ached. It was hot, but there was a cool breeze. I was overheated and at times was shivering. There was an emptiness in me, and I was half out of it. I hurt so much, I felt like crying. I didn’t though, maybe because I was too exhausted. When I was finished, I couldn’t speak.

Recovering from this misadventure, I’m not sure what I did wrong or why that happened. I drank 33 ounces of water during the run and got 11 hours of sleep the night before. Going into the run, I was a little sore, but only a little.

But anyway, I finished it. All 13 painful miles in a time so slow I’ll take it to my grave. But I did it. Even a few years ago, I might have turned in early at 10 miles, or even 12. Not now. I set out to run 13 miles, and so I did. I was not injured or bleeding or unable to keep upright.

We’ll see what this long run does to me. I’ve had others like this, and I’ve been ok.

Maybe this run was the result of all the emotional baggage I’ve been carrying with me. I’d need a crane to lift it all. It’s painful stuff, demons I haven’t figured out how to exorcise. I know well enough by now emotional weight can be like putting on a physical weight vest. But despite all the work I’m doing, those stubborn demons are staying put.

I remember what Liz Gilbert said about all this: “You can’t push darkness out. You can only grow light.”

Lightness again. It keeps showing up, and so must I.


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