In our sport it is easy to get caught up in the day to day routine. We wake, eat, run, go to class, eat, sleep, repeat. This process is seemingly monotonous to those around us who aren't a part of our little niche in society, but obviously there is an inherent purpose to us doing the same thing day in and day out. However, though we are well aware of what we have to do every day, it becomes difficult for most runners to stay in the moment and actually enjoy the process of running. We obsess over every little statistic, place and other irrelevant things and sometimes forget that we are doing this out of love for the sport. It's times like this that we need to step back, breathe, and just reevaluate why we started in the first place.
    My coach told me a story once of when he and some of my former teammates were driving back from an invitational at Duke in North Carolina. Our University is located in New Jersey, so it's a pretty long haul in one straight shot. They unfortunately left quite late in the night since one of our guys ran the 10k, so as you can imagine, my coach was exhausted driving the van back after being outside coaching all day. As the trip got underway, it became more than obvious that he wasn't going to be able to get them home in one shot, so he kept thinking to himself when he should pull over. The trip went on and he was still recognizing how tired he was and how badly he wanted to stop, but then it hit him that he had already been driving for 2 hours and he hadn't changed how he felt. This kept going on for several more hours, and with each hour that passed he kept reciting to himself "Alright, you made it another hour. Lets go just one more". Eventually they made it back safe and sound, and he crashed on one of the guys couches for the evening after being awake for the better part of 2 days. 
     I find that this particular story is important to us as runners because we always try and leap ahead to the end result without respecting the process. If we just break it down into little chunks and recognize that each little step we take is a success, then our ultimate goal will seem that much more satisfying once we have achieved it. Think about the process next time you go out on a run, and see just how far you've come since you began your career, and what else you'd like to accomplish. After that, then you can start your own "Driving Home From Duke" story.