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No shortcuts

I did 16 miles on the trails at Latta Plantation this morning. Some horse paths, some rooty trails; some hills, some flats. I felt good. My body didn't, but I did. I felt good because today's run was the first in a while that I didn't let myself off the hook too easily.

Latta Plantation has 14 different trails. Some linked and some are loops; but they all offshoot from the main road. I don't know where I am most of the time while on the trails, especially since I like making wrong turns. But eventually I'll come back out to the main road and find my way again from there. I took the routes I did with two other runners last week, clocked 11 miles. That wasn't enough for a long run, so I pushed myself back onto another trail, thinking anything more than a half-marathon (13.1) is good (enough). Although ideally, I should be putting in 16+ miles in today. But you know, trail is tougher than roads - more hills, uneven grounds, and people say the garmin is usually off by 5-10% on trails. 13 miles is not too bad, right?

Whatever it is, the trail began to tax on my body. Mile 12-13 wasn't easy on the Hill Trail. No wonder the name. My mind, however, was not consumed by what my body was going through for some reason. Instead, I started to think about how I would feel if I indeed stop at mile 13. Well..."I let myself off the hook again."

That's pretty much what I've been doing lately, doing what's easier and doing what feels better at the moment.  In short, I haven't been giving my best. My heart has been heavy for this very reason. Shortcuts don't work in training and running. It doesn't matter how much it hurts at mile 24. If you want to finish a marathon, it got to be 26.2. And it got to be now. You can't come back and do the last two miles next week.

The last few miles were tough. The Hill Trail loop put me at 15.44 miles. Still not 16. So, off I went again. I am glad I did, because He deserves the best, in my running and in all I do in life.


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