Exsiste hic iam. Be here now.
I’ve loved this phrase for years, to the point where I considered getting a tattoo of it when A) I still spoke Latin, and B) I still thought tattoos were a good idea. Neither of those are true anymore, but it’s a mantra I continue to carry with me. It’s easy to dwell on what I used to be capable of and focus on the past, but running is entirely about moving forward. In order to move forward, I need to be mindful of each step, here and now.
I ran two miles this morning. Correction: I ran one mile, stopped, huffed and puffed, paced around, caught my breath, and then ran another mile. I used to be better than this, and I want to be better than this. But this is where I am today, and it’s important to embrace it. I know that in time two difficult miles will become two easy miles, will be come three miles, then four, and so on. But today I’m at two very unpretty miles.
The only way back to long runs is to work through the short runs. There’s no way to skip ahead and magically be able to run 10 miles. I need to push through these rusty miles. It isn’t glamorous. It isn’t easy.
But I’m here, now, and I’m trying.
Originally published 1/19/13