My new coach had a 13 mile run on my schedule yesterday. While I have run plenty of half marathons, this was my longest training/unsupported run yet. I left my house at about 7:00 am ready to start my run through the park that backs up to my neighborhood.
Let me take a moment to describe this park.
Bunker Hills Regional Park is filled with a maze of paved bike paths on undulating hills. I know these twisting bike paths better than I know the lines on my own palms. When I started running, I ran Bunker. I’ve run two 5Ks through Bunker. I’ve participated in running groups through Bunker. However, I prefer to run alone. And it is usually pretty quiet. Only a few other people pushing strollers, jogging or walking.
Much to my dismay, yesterday the park was packed with people! Lots of them! Everywhere! People riding bikes, people walking, people pushing strollers, people roller blading, people on skate boards, people sitting around, people running. Lots of other people running. I literally wanted to shout “GET OUT OF MY WAY! GET OUT OF MY PARK!”
But as I was heading out of the park (frustrated and sweaty) and on to the next leg of my run I wondered what were they all doing in there today?
And a thought occurred to me. I bet some of these people are just kids looking to have fun outside on their bikes, just like I was. I bet some of these mothers pushing strollers are just looking for some time out of the house and an opportunity to work off that baby weight just like I was. I bet some of these people are learning to run just like I did. And… I bet at least some of these people are training for the same damn marathon I am.
I knew I needed to check my mental game at that point and I did. There will not be a field of 1 starting this marathon, nor would I want there to be. Everyone has their own fitness journey they are working through, and yes some of those journeys happened to be through my park yesterday.
This morning I ran through Bunker again as usual for my scheduled 3 mile run. It was almost empty. Which actually made me a little sad. Come back everyone! I will share next time. I promise. 🙂