Promises in the Dark

I headed out the door this morning to run 6 miles on the first day of my official 18 week Twin Cities Marathon training program. My body felt pretty good, but my mind is still full of lingering doubts which I will need to overcome if I want to once again line up outside the HHH Metrodome this October. Distance running requires equal parts physical and mental durability, and I know firsthand that to neglect either is asking for disappointment when running a marathon. When I was down on myself after last year’s Twin Cities Marathon, my friend Stacy told me: “Marathon running isn’t for the faint of heart!” I think she was trying to tell me that by simply finishing a marathon I had proven to be an exceptionally tough person, but it also made me realize that I perhaps needed to put more “heart” into my training the next time around.

The first song on my i-pod this morning was Pat Benatar’s “Promises in the Dark,” and I think that will be my theme during the next 4 months of training. When the alarm goes off, and it’s still dark outside, it’s sometimes hard to get out of bed and get running. It’s the promise you make to yourself to train as hard as possible that ultimately gets you up and into your Brooks Beast running shoes. My own personal promise in the dark, if you will…

“Never again, isn’t that what you said,
You’ve been through this before and swore this time you’d think with your head…
But your heart says try again…
You desperately search for a way to conquer the fears,
No line of attack has been planned to fight back the tears,
Where brave and restless dreams are both won and lost,
On the edge is where it seems it’s well worth the cost…
Promises in the dark…

Yes, my friends, when my alarm goes off early every morning from now until October 7th, I have to make a decision whether try my hardest, or to simply give up training and go back to sleep. This morning I promised myself to always try my hardest; A promise in the dark!

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