Today’s run was one of those runs where you are thankful to be alive.
The air was crisp. The sun was shinning. It felt like a scene out of a movie, my movie, the story of my life maybe…
I thought about the marathon I have coming up in 5 weeks and about my lack of long runs – read NO long runs. I thought about the pros and cons of using the race as a long run for another race. I thought about what races mean to me and if I have to keep doing them to consider myself a runner. Do I have to chase PR’s or follow training programs to be welcome into running community year after year? If I stopped running marathons, do I cease being a marathoner and become that girl who once upon a time ran long races? Did I ever have to start running races to become a runner? Was I a runner the day I began running?
After miles upon miles of my thoughts jumping around, this sentiment stuck.
If you never run a race again, you are still a runner.
If you run and have never run a race, you are still a runner.
You can run for the pure joy of it. You can be competitive with yourself. You can race the watch on your arm, not the time clock at the finish. You can feel on top of the world at the end of a long run, just because you love running, not because you needed or wanted a medal around your neck. You can run a PR and no one has to know but you.
The wonderful thing about the sport of running is that there are endless options. One person can love running on trails. One person can have a thing for the treadmill. Still another can prefer running on sidewalks, while another would rather die than run anywhere but a beautiful paved trail. One person can run ultras while another sticks to the 5K. Both are runners and one isn’t MORE of a runner than the other.
So on a Tuesday morning in September I chose to run 12 miles just because I wanted to. It made me happy. Isn’t that part of the whole purpose of running- to be happy?
“Running tells us the good news about ourselves” – George Sheehan