Meet: my inner runner. She is happy, strong, and fast(ish). She’s run three marathons, quite a few halfs, and even ran a sub-23 minute 5k once (emphasis on the once).
At some point over the last year, I lost contact with my inner runner. I (mostly) stopped running. I traded extra sleep for early miles. I got slow. Like, real slow. I skipped my yearly marathon even though I paid the entry fee. I blamed it on a nasty cold, but the reality was that I just wasn’t ready.
Over the last month, as I’ve been working through my Powersheets and with my coach, I’ve (re)realized that running is one thing that brings me pure, unadultered joy — running is my happy. I mean, you can see it in the picture above! And so, I’ve been saying that I’m going to start running again for the last month. Only, I didn’t start.
Last week, something clicked. Like, what-am-I-even-doing-right-now clicked. Like, earth to Jen, you’re signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon this year clicked. I enlisted the help of my boyfriend-turned-running coach, and we’ve committed to getting up every morning and run/walking 3-5 miles.
The last week has been frustrating — I’m slow, out of shape, and have to walk a bunch. But you know what? The happy is back. The joy is there. It’s clouded in huffing and puffing and feeling like a slowpoke, but there are moments of greatness in every run.
That’s why we celebrate National Running Day. Because a pair of shoes, a stretch of pavement, and the desire to be better than yesterday allows us to be champions of our own lives. It gives us the opportunity to be great.
You are a runner because you run. You are a runner whether you’re qualifying for Boston or huffing and puffing your way through one mile. There are no time requirements, no specialty equipment you have to buy, no exclusive club membership. You are a runner because you make the choice to get up, get out, and bank your freaking miles.
My Marine Corps Marathon training plan officially starts next week, and I’ll be ready. I know it’s not going to be pretty and that some runs are going to push my limits, but when I cross that finish line in October, I won’t just be back in contact with my inner runner, I’ll be her.
Happy National Running Day from my inner runner to yours. Here’s to being better than yesterday, every day. Get out and go run!
Today is a great day to start your very own #projectThreeMile. Go here and download your calendar, and commit to finding your greatness. You deserve it!