Don't be put off by the title of today's blog post. It's actually the title of a pretty cool song.
I am reaching the end of my stress fracture recovery program and, as such, things are ramping up a bit. I am now running thirty minutes but I'm also running more days per week. Last week I ran four days a week, this week I have to run five. Two 30 minutes runs, two 35s and a 40.
I wouldn't have said this in August but I'll say it now - that's a lot of running!
So I dusted off my iPod shuffle this past weekend. I haven't run to music since last October. Mostly because I didn't run for 10 weeks. Partly because, when I did start running, I was not running for very long so it seemed silly to drag out the tunes. And a teeny bit because I used my music to motivate and inspire me during marathon training and I wasn't sure I would want to hear the songs I used to run to as I gingerly trotted along for 15 minutes.
Saturday morning, I popped in my ear bud and headed out the door.
Shuffling music is fun because sometimes you get a bunch of songs in a row that are pretty benign. Other times, you get a bunch in a row that all trigger emotional responses.
Saturday I got a bunch of songs that were nice, easy listening, keep your feet moving kinda songs.
Sunday, the first song that came on brought me right back to last summer.
This is the song:
I first heard the song when a friend posted this link to a Harry Potter YouTube video. I love Harry Potter and was pretty moved watching the video because the creator used music and video clips to tell a powerful story. A story of courage, pride, fear, despair, loneliness, friendship, giving up, and overcoming.
It's a powerful summary of the Harry Potter story.
It's also the story of running a marathon. All of those emotions, and a few more, become familiar friends by the time you have completed all of those long runs. Every time the song came on, no matter how exhausted I was, it inspired me to keep moving forward. I remember one run in particular. It was hot and I was hurting. I had run 28k and there were still two more to go before I reached the car. I just wanted to walk it in and had lost the energy to fight with myself. The I heard the first few notes of the song and I, to quote Lady Macbeth, was able to "screw my courage to the sticking place". I hit repeat over and over again until I made it to the car - running.
Sunday morning, as I stepped out the door to do my 30 minute run, the song came on. I was tempted for a brief moment to skip ahead to the next song. I hadn't heard This is War for months and wasn't sure I wanted to hear it yet. I forced myself not to skip ahead and, within a few seconds, was bounding down the road with a huge grin on my face.
You see, the song worked perfectly during marathon training but it works quite well now because the last few months have also been about fear, despair, hope, friendship, loneliness, giving up and overcoming. Injuries, as it turns out, are just like marathons.
They're hard but you survive.