I made a wish from 164 feet beneath the earth’s surface the other day.

It was Spring Break for my kids so we took a little day trip to Luray Caverns.  This place is pretty incredible.  I think I had been there before as a child, but I know that I did not in any way appreciate or really comprehend the miracle of it at the time.

It is still way over my head.

I keep thinking about it.

This beautiful, magical, truly otherworldy place that is right under our feet.

And it would be there whether anyone discovered it hundreds of years ago or not.

What else is waiting to be discovered?
What discoveries lie in our hearts?
In this amazing world?

Mind = blown.

I believe that anything — and I really do mean ANYTHING — is possible.

I went out for my last really long run before Boston yesterday.  I ran 22 solo miles in the wind and rain.  It was exactly what I needed.  What my body needed.  What my spirit needed.

This training cycle has been really up and down for me.
LIFE has kind of been really up and down for me lately.
There most certainly is a connection.

I decided to head out for my run later than usual, around 10:30AM, so that I could be with my family on Easter morning.  Also, Boston has a later start and I have never run a marathon with a late start before so this would give me a chance to practice that before race day.  It was a little funky for me!  I was itching to get out the door, having been up since before 6AM.  I always feel a certain level of anxiety before a really long run and for this one all of those feelings were amplified.  Still though, I got out the door and as soon as I started moving, the anxiety and the worry just melted away.

I ran 11 miles east on my favorite trail.  In a groove, taking it easy.  Feeling completely and utterlyin my element.

Relishing – and replenishing – in my solitude.

Miles 1-11: 7:59, 8:05, 8:05, 8:07, 8:02, 8:03, 7:50, 7:53, 7:44, 7:54, 8:04

When I turned around to head home I thought about how there was once a time I never would have considered dreaming up the things I think about each and every day.  I think running inspired me to believe in myself.  To believe that all things are possible.   It awakened a strength and determination inside of me.  It connected me to parts of myself I never knew were there.

And it made me hungry for more.

If you let it, running can lead you down a path of self discovery.  I read something today about how when we feel pain, it is just the cracking of our shell.  When we go to those places, whether physically or emotionally or mentally, that are terribly uncomfortable or altogether scary – we are breaking through something and we will come out of it stronger and more open than ever before.

This is why running is so much more than a sport or a hobby or a passing interest to me.  This is why I am so passionate about it.  This is why I truly LOVE it and why I feel so strongly that it must be a part of my life in some way shape or form for always.  It has changed me forever.  It has turned me inside out in the best kind of way.

Miles 12-22: 8:11, 7:45, 7:56, 7:59, 7:41, 7:40, 7:08, 7:14, 7:18, 7:33, 8:00

I am running the Boston Marathon in two weeks from today.  I have strong legs and an even stronger heart that will carry me there.

They have taken me so far already.

The possibilities truly are endless.

13 thoughts on “discovery

  1. I love that you went out later on Sunday – so smart to do before Boston!! A later start definitely takes some practice (something I didn't do when I ran Boston or NYC and wished I had!).

    I hope that your stomach cooperates with you in 2 weeks – I'll be thinking of you and praying! So anxious and excited for you, Jess! =) xo

  2. Couldn't have said it better myself! Love this post, Jess!!! I feel the same exact way, running has truly changed my life and it has shown me that anything is possible. 🙂

    I will be cheering for you in Boston from NYC!!! I know you will have a great race, it's Boston, soak it all in 🙂

  3. I love the way you see things, I feel the same way, running has given me so much, especially in the toughest moments, although it took time for me to see that the discomfort was exactly what I needed, both in life and in running. That shell has presented itself so many times in my life and I spent so many years fighting it, running has taught me not to be afraid, not to fight the discomfort, to embrace it and ride it out and when you do, as you say “anything is possible!”

  4. I did a lot of my longer runs later in the day when prepping for NYCM. It's really good practice to figure out what/when to eat since on race day you'll most likely be up for hours before you start running.

    Your posts are so inspirational. Reading your blog is what made me want to train for a marathon and made me start to believe in myself

  5. I can't believe Boston is in 2 weeks! I seriously can't wait to see how you do! You're going to rock it! I can totally tell that your training has been good for mind and body! What a beautiful way to look at running. Gorgeous!

  6. Running seems to give us the ability to find ourselves. Emotionally and physically – it just allows us the time and solitude that we normally don't get to just figure it all out.
    You are going to rock Boston! Can't wait for these two weeks of taper to zoom by for ya 🙂 Great post!

  7. I'm not a runner but I find this so inspiring. There was also a time in my life that I would never have dreamed the things I'm doing today. I've lost sight of that lately. This is a perfect reminder.

    With that mindset, you will rock in Boston 🙂

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