Friday, September 21, 2007

I Am A Runner

I came across this article by by John Bingham in Runner's World, and I really like its descriptions of a runner. Incidentally, I decided in May that I would run 300 miles by Halloween. I never publicly declared it, but I may have mentioned it to Eric while he was figuring out the shaky math for his goal. This Labor day, I accomplished that goal.

I just really like having turned into a runner. I've never been able to describe myself as any kind of athlete before. I love going out for a run, and watching all the cross country teams practicing, and thinking, "I'm like them!" I love signing up for a race, and lining up at the starting line with all the other runners, knowing that my name will be on the list of finishers. I love talking about running. I love knowing that I have muscles that I never dreamed of having. I love eating like it's going out of style. I love the nervous energy I have after a day of rest. I love getting up at 6am on a Saturday, when the sun hasn't risen yet, and running until it's hot out. I love sharing the bike path with bikers and dog walkers and joggers and other runners, all of whom say "Good morning" and "Great day, huh?" I love running hard on hills. I love hitting a PR on mile 10. I love encouraging new runners, and looking up to seasoned veteran racers. I love knowing that if I've had a bad day, I can go out for a long, hard run, and by the time I get home, I've forgotten all about the stress. I just love this new sport of mine, and hope I can keep running when I'm 60.

I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.

because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.

I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I'm pushing the limits of my comfort and why I'm doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate--things I once avoided--are necessary if I want to be a better runner.

I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I've done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won't have to scream in pain later on.

I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.

I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.

I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I'm not.

1 comment:

J said...

Very inspirational!