For years (actually decades) I have thought of myself as a runner: I hit the roads on a regular basis, I raced (well), and my closest friends were runners.
This year, that all changed. Perhaps it was due to my change in job, the family stress, or being i-listed most of the summer. Perhaps it was the self-imposed pressure of wanting to be the best. Or was it simply because I am getting older? Whatever the reason, I felt my performance drop in the fall and, while I was building mileage, my running seemed to be getting worse. To make things even harder on myself, I started to run with guys and gals – fast guys and gals – from the Toronto Olympic Club; for several weeks, I got home from practice wondering what I was trying to prove by running with them.
By mid-January, I was ready to quit altogether – Boston and running competitively. Running had become stressful (one of the reasons that I stopped writing regularly). But my supports – my family, friends and coach – pulled me back up.
I thought I was a runner before but I wasn’t. In the past three months, I have learned to stick with a training plan; I’ve missed one workout in the past 2 months of training 6 days a week. I am understanding pacing and am no longer afraid to run slow, even if I don’t like it. I complain when I get to a traffic light when I use to love using them as breaks, and I’m learning to push myself into the wind, not slow down and let it force me back.
Mostly, though, I am noticing a change in my gait. I can feel my legs stretching out; I’m starting to lean into the turns in the same way I do on my bike; I feel natural; I feel strong. \
Somehow, sometime, over the past three months, I have become a runner.
4 Replies to “Evolution of a Runner”
Great post! Good luck in Boston, I'm sure you'll do great.
I love that every runner evolves in some way, shape or form. I have totally changed the way I see running and myself as a runner over this last training cycle.
You have always been a runner, now you are in another phase of running. Learning new lessons and tips to make you more efficient and faster. You are also now running for the love of running.
You inspire many and will continue to inspire many, YOU RUNNER YOU.
You have always been a runner in my eyes! And a very good one at that! I'll be cheering you on in Boston from in front of my computer …you are going to have a great day!