Miles Ahead

The end of the year practically demands introspection. I’ve never been one for life-changing expectations when flipping the page of a calendar, but I can certainly appreciate taking a few moments to reflect on the past while setting intentions for the future. 2018 was a challenging year — both the good kind of challenge that pushes your limits, and the bad kind that rattles your faith in yourself and the world.

In 2018, I became part of a broader running community than I even knew was possible. I connected with runners in person locally, online around the world, and ran alongside 45,000 of my new friends as I completed my first World Marathon Major race in Chicago. These sub-communities and the overarching community of runners has helped me find my voice and my motivation and a daily sense of pride and joy.

In 2018, I attempted my seemingly impossible goal of a sub-5 marathon. I missed. Again. Despite falling short for a 6th time, I’ve since adjusted and re-recalibrated my training plan to set myself up better for next year. My speed work is paying off, and I’m gradually able to sustain faster paces for longer distances. With continued effort, discipline, and a smile from the running gods, I’ll hopefully make my impossible possible soon.

In 2018, I cried a lot, sometimes by myself and sometimes one a loved one’s shoulder. There were days that life felt so cruel and unjust that I was too overwhelmed to know where even to begin. Sometimes the answer was a long, angry run. Sometimes the answer was hiding under a quilt.

In 2018, I laughed a lot, sometimes by myself and sometimes in the company of dear friends. There were days I felt so happy and lucky that it seemed my heart might burst from all the love in my life. I celebrated my health and my strength and my insanely wonderful circle of family and friends.

In 2018, I learned I can hold all these terrible, wonderful feelings inside me at the same time. Life is never entirely good or entirely bad, and most days are a confusing combination of everything in between. So while I can hold these contradictions simultaneously, I can’t hold them all on my own. Thank you for being a part of this community, and reading and sharing as I process the bumpy miles both on and off the road. I’m grateful for every lesson learned, and looking forward to the miles ahead in 2019.

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