It’s that I play the game.

I’m training for my first marathon. That means I’m going for jogs on as many evenings as evenings as Kentucky weather and this 42 year-old body will allow.

On Sundays, I do my “long run” for the week, a predetermined distance that changes each week that I use to build up my endurance towards the 26.2 miles I hope to run on race day.

The schedule said I should run a half marathon today, which is +/- 13.1 miles. I made it 11 miles before the cold and my aching feet said, “Stop! We mean it, this time.”

I can look at this a couple of ways, I guess.  I can be disappointed that I couldn’t run the full distance, and just deal with the attendant disappointment and anxiety that I won’t be prepared on race day. My fears of not finishing the race or getting injured are very real.

In the alternative, I can be happy that I ran further this afternoon than I have in 14 months.  I set an aggressive goal, fell short, but still accomplished something that made today better than yesterday.

I’m choosing the latter. It’s an apt parallel to a poor day on the golf course.

I played a practice round yesterday. Getting off of most tee boxes was an adventure, so much so, that I ended up playing multiple balls on most holes, searching for “it.”

Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I play golf for fun. No one cares if I’m actually good at golf or not. I play enough tournament golf that I’ve been cured of my vanity handicap, and I’m far too competitive and want to be a “good golfer” to ever sandbag my buddies or the league in which I play.

Would I like to shoot better scores or wow playing partners with bombed drives? Of course I would!

Yet, I know, improvement comes slowly, and there are no shortcuts in golf. Just like in running.

Improve everyday, take something positive away from every session, and appreciate the progress and the journey along the way.

Thank you for attending my impromptu conversation with myself.

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