I’ve never heard of Mt. Pisgah State Park, nor, Troy, PA.
But it’s the end of March and I’ve logged about 127 miles on my virtual run to Canada. I’m nearly to the border between New York and Pennsylvania, to the east of something called Mt. Pisgah State Park. And since I have no intention of doing all the research that will turn this journey into a travelogue, that’s about all I’m going to say about my current location. (I never promised enlightenment, here. Just a month-by-month account of my year-long attempt at running 450 miles.)
And speaking of 450 miles, turns out Toronto is slightly closer to me than I thought. I had to tack on another 30 miles or so to hit my number so now I’ll end up in “You Never Heard of It,” Canada. It’s just north of “Nothing Listed on the Map,” Canada. That’s awesome.
And how am I feeling? Well, I haven’t yet leaped onto the treadmill in delight and squealed with happiness as I pounded the miles out. I can’t believe that will ever happen, as a matter of fact. The only thing that delights me in a weird way is that I haven’t given up – yet. I’ve done my first three months and it’s been almost a year since I started using our treadmill a few times a week.
And if we get to a more micro level about this, I’ve very rarely ever given up on running a 5k, either. My rationale: If I’ve done a mile, I can do two. If I’ve done two, I can do three, for God’s sake. And if I do three, I can certainly remain upright for another tenth of a mile, yes? That’s what I tell myself anyway.
Here’s how my mind works – and what I discussed with my husband and a younger co-worker the other day. I relate almost anything uncomfortable, challenging, or exhausting to having a baby. It’s kind of cliché but hear me out, please.
My friend Molly shared this bit of wisdom with me when we were both pregnant twenty-one years ago: every labor pain you have is one less you have to have before the baby arrives. It’s come and gone and you never have to have that particular one again: it’s on the record and you’re onto the next. And one of them will ultimately be the very last one you have before you’re holding your baby.
So somewhere out there in the universe, even when labor ends in a Cesarean delivery, there is an unknown, finite number of contractions and pushes you have to do, and then you get your baby. And the better news is that you have to do only one at a time. As someone said in Chorus Line, “That I can do!”
I feel like that while I’m running. Run another quarter mile, another half mile and you never have to run that one again. It’s on the record. It’s not entirely comfortable all of the time and more than anything, you just want to get to the end but you can do anything for a little while, right? And you’re that much closer to your 450.
So – after the month of March, I am that much closer. I have 127 miles on the record; another 323 to go. Which is about 35.88 miles a month for the rest of the year. Which is about 8.97 miles a week. Which is about 2.24 miles four times a week.
That I can do.