Whomever it was that said a red sky in the morning is bad news, probably wasn't a runner and certainly never saw the sky I saw last Saturday morning.
At times it was like I was running inside of a photograph that was being worked on in some photo editing software and different levels of sepia tones were being experimented with to find what looked best. It was simply spectacular, a great way to end off my training for the Niagara Falls Half Marathon.
As I look back over my training log, all I can say is man, I nailed it. I reached every training goal, ran smart and injury free. I've always tried to instill in our Running Club members that they should talk more openly about how proud of themselves they are. Sometimes, modesty, well, sucks. So let me follow a little of my own advice and get my celebration going a little early.
I've never run better, or stronger. I've never been in such good shape. It's all down to the calorie management and the miles, no doubt, but more than that, it's down to my mind. I have figured out that running and physical fitness in general is not about sweating and panting and achey muscles, it's about having a strong mind, raising your bar, and working hard to clear it. As I read over the comments I wrote in my log, one really stands out to me:
"Best run of my life. Who is this guy?"
There were times, during my longer runs, I didn't know who I was, or where it was coming from. If you want to run faster, you have to run faster, if you want to run longer, you have to run longer. Don't be afraid to ask your body for more -- we're bigger than our bodies and we're as great as our minds will let us be.
So as I head to Niagara Falls this weekend I've laid out three goals for myself -- one that I will be happy with, one that I will be thrilled with, and one that I will be over the moon with. Whatever race day brings me, I will run smart, stick to my plan, finish strong and leave everything on the race course.
I've read that achievement is the result of dedication, hard work and constantly raising the bar. The achievement was the training. This weekend's race is the celebration.
One cheeseburger and a chocolate shake, please! I've earned it.
Run for your life.