Yesterday was the perfect morning for a run…70 degrees, a little breezy, sunny….just perfect. Except that i wasn’t really feeling it. I’m not sure why though. I had just enough time between clients to get my 8 mile run in so i planned ahead and took my running stuff to the gym with me. Off i went.
About one mile in, i just kept thinking i felt a little off-kilter. I certainly wasn’t thinking about turning back but i was starting to get irritated that this perfect run wasn’t feeling very perfect. I felt like i had heavy feet, my shins were hurting, and i just felt like my overall form was lacking. By mile 3, i finally starting to loosen up a little and was finding a rhythm.
I had no route planned, which for me is such a sense of freedom. I spend so much time making routes and running specific routes that any time i get the chance to just go, I take full advantage of it. As i was running, I suddenly noticed that i was taking the turns i used to avoid. You know the ones….those that take you up the hills instead of down! It’s as if my body was just leading me on this route that used to be pretty difficult for me just to remind me of how far i’ve come. Not to say i didn’t still feel my heart working a little harder or my glutes burning but i was doing it and i was doing it because i WANTED to do it.
It got me thinking about all the runs i’ve done over the years in my old hood and about the times when i had certain “milestones” that i would try to do on every run but would find myself walking the hills instead or avoiding the tough turns. I have been a runner for many years now (yes, i said it…i’m a runner 😉 ) but it wasn’t until i started coaching my own group did i start to see big improvements, mentally and physically. People assume that this is because i get to “work out all the time” (which, by the way people, i have to find the time just like you do) but that’s not it at all. It’s because i’m so inspired by my runners.
As i was going up the “race hill” in the park, i thought about all my “4 Milers” from this year and thought about how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time. These people have not complained a bit. They’ve come out, sucked it up, and given it all they have. Some runs have been successes and some haven’t but they still come back. As i was headed up “Mt. Easy Way”, i couldn’t help but think about all my fellow marathoners-in-training. I got tickled that we’ve named this hill and it’s our own little joke and i just got that warm and fuzzy feeling….these fellow runners were true beginners a year or so ago and are now training for a marathon. How could i not be inspired by these people?! And, of course, there’s Keith. I would have to be in a coma to not be inspired by him. He decided he was going to do something, enlisted a coach, followed a plan, and blew his goal out of the water on race day!
Suddenly i realized i was 8 miles into my run and was having the perfect run. I’m grateful to all that have inspired me over the last few years. You have all made me a better runner and i love you for that. 🙂