Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Still runnin'!

I ran at dusk today, on this oddly spring-like day. So, I put on my 2013 Boston Marathon shirt that I've been "saving" (for what, I asked myself?). But I wanted long sleeves and yellow for the visibility so on it went. I looked at the sleeve displaying the year and thought, wow, 2013! I've run 10 years since then (and about 15 in total).

When I ran Boston, was I thinking I'd still be running in 2023? Probably not, but here I am! I'm still runnin'! 

What's the same?

Through the years, I've remained very consistent and it's rare that I miss a workout. I guess you'd call that discipline, but after so many miles, it just becomes what the body craves and needs. I still have my same fantastic coach, Jim McGehee, who every year says, "you don't really need me anymore." And every year I say, "yes I DO!!!!!." Having structure (translation: not having to decide what to do) and having that knowledgeable and caring person to interact with on a regular basis is priceless. I would put coaching as one of the best investments I have made in myself.

Something else that's the same: it's STILL hard to get out the door some days. When people struggle with an exercise habit, I remind them you can't wait for motivation. You just have to take action, get going, and the motivation grows as you go! 

What's different?

I'm definitely slower now (I ran a 3:33 that year) but running has come to mean so much more to me. Back then, my run thoughts were all about the workout. I was so intensely focused on performance and I ate it up! Now, running is about time away from screens, and clearing space between my ears for my own thoughts about life, my kids, relationships, work. I run to podcasts and catch anywhere from 10-75% of the content, depending on what my mind prefers!

I'm more chill about racing now, especially before a race, and more patient within the race. I'm not so willing to bury myself, but I will still push myself close to that edge! Workouts are done more by feel and less by exact pace. I have more fun now, and put less pressure on myself. Oh, and I strength train. I got away with skipping that part for a lot of years, but no longer. It's a part of my routine, 3x a week.

There must be something to this running stuff. So many of my friends have also been doing it for years, decades, a lifetime! The only explanation: there's magic in those miles!


P.S. It felt good to write this. I spend my days as a health coach writing, writing, writing, which I love, but it doesn't always leave a lot for me to say at the end of the day!