Truer words have never been spoken.
The first mile I ran today was brutal. I felt like I was carrying 50 lbs of dead weight. By the time I got around the corner from my house, I was out of breath. I could feel the sun beating down on my neck and my mouth was dry and parched. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to turn around and go home.
But at home was my running partner, who graciously volunteered to come during her lunch hour to keep an eye on my kids, so that I could go for a run. I couldn't show my face 5 minutes after I had just left the house.
So I kept going. Tried not to look at my watch. Prayed for a college friend whose 4 year old son is battling a brain tumor. Thought about how you hardly ever see used Toyota or Honda minivans for sale. Considered what we were having for dinner tonight. Thought about anything other then the torture I was purposely inflicting upon myself.
Mercifully, my Garmin finally beeped at me, alerting me that I had reached a mile. I could turn around and head home.
As a marathoner, it is humbling to struggle through a two mile run. I worry that it will always be this hard. That I won't be the same runner I was before. These are not new fears. I go through this cycle of self doubt whenever I take time away from running.
Thankfully, while today's first mile left me doubting, the second mile left me elated.
Often in running, you need not only the courage to start but the courage to continue.