Keep On Keepin’ On

Keep On Keepin’ On


A long while ago, I ran a marathon.
For years before I thought: No way in hell. The occasional 5 and 10k were more my speed. Slow and easy and not too much pain: my speed. And then a friend suggested we do a half-marathon together. We joined a nonprofit organization fundraising for the event, which locked us in a bit more. And by the end of our first training week, we’d decided to do the entire 26.2. We finished together; we weren’t breaking any records (unless those records were for the slowest marathon ever run). But we finished. And honestly it was AMAZING.
I’m running a marathon again–with my manuscript. It’s the first draft and I’d say I’m at about mile 16 or 17. If I recall my other marathon, the one that involved real running–those were tough miles. You’re on the other side of this challenge, but you’re not yet seeing the finish line. You can visualize it, can visualize crossing it, but you’re really ready to be done with it. You’re pretty tired and water isn’t enough. You’re imagining an undercooked ribeye, a pile of salt, a bubble bath. The people cheering who’d really motivated you at mile 8 and 13 have begun to irritate you; in fact, you kind of want to tell them to shut up already. You want to run faster but you know that’s the worst idea of all: you’d only be increasing your chances of hitting the infamous wall.
But still: you’re in it. And like hell are you going to quit now. After all, it’s less than 10 more miles; you’re in the single digits.
Everyday, I want to write a little faster. But everyday, no matter how much time I put in, the page number is about the same. I set the pace a while back and have been plodding along and though it seemed unlikely I’d reach this point, here I am. I can visualize the finish line. It looks really nice. Still, I’m not quite there yet.

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