When my sis asked me to guest post for her while she’s away, my mind was actually pretty blank, to be honest. But today, it hit me. As I stood at mile 11, waiting for our fabulous bloggy friend Samantha to pass us (meeting up with Meaghan, who is supremely awesome!) as she ran the Hampton Half Marathon, it hit me. As I saw the runners whizzing past, at all paces, and seeing some faces scrunched up in struggle, while others had their eye on the prize, I just saw something in their faces: they were running for themselves…above all else, they were running for them, and nobody else. Sure, some were intent on finishing first, or PRing or breaking an old PR, but the common thread was that it was for them. The run.
And that is something I have very much struggled with over the last year. Why I run. For awhile, I lost sight of that, and ran because I thought I should. And trained for two half marathons because I thought I should, because my sister and my friend Steph were running them, but after a second half marathon that just didn’t go nearly as planned, I knew I needed to throw that book out the window and start clean.
Thus, I proclaimed that I love to run, but I do not love to race. And born from that was my 6-month run challenge (read up on it here) that I built for myself to sustain some distance during the cold winter months (complete with challenging myself to run outside in the cold, something I’d never really done in seasons past) and to maybe even build up my pace a bit from my usual 10mm that I can’t seem to break.
What I didn’t expect to gain from this challenge, now, 3 months in, was this: it has helped me re-inspire and re-capture why I run and more importantly, why I like to run. I’m conquering the breathing problems that have plagued me, I am gaining some speed, I am running consistently, and I have even embraced my aforementioned abhorrence for intervals.
And in the process? I’ve learned to love running again and to ultimately run for me, and only me. In this bloggy world filled with runners of all varieties, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in what everyone else is doing…but for the first time in a long time, I’m really just focused on what I am doing, and nothing else. The way it should be.
And that, my friends, is how I’ve taught myself to run…for me.
For anyone out there that is struggling with this very thing – running for you and not letting anything else affect that…take it from me, it can be done. I am proof and I am thrilled with how far I’ve come, moreso mentally even, than physically.
So, take that gamble, get your head in the game and figure out why you run, and then just go for it. You’ll probably surprise yourself with what you’re actually capable of when you’re focusing on just you, just running.