I was sitting here browsing through running blogs and it got me thinking.
The last couple months I’ve been cutting back on my running, just life getting in the way plus a bit of lack of motivation. And I started to get down on myself about it.
But then I looked at the big picture.
I’m 51 years old. 15 months ago, I couldn’t even run 5km without stopping to walk. Sometimes I had to stop for a walk break within the first kilometre! My cholesterol levels may not have been huge, but they were high.
Joe Friel, who I follow closely as the man knows his shi… er, stuff, said in his blog today “You aren’t old until age becomes your excuse.”
So I set myself a goal in August of 2012, A full marathon by the end of the year. And in typical Myles OCD (CDO, because it HAS to be alphabetical!) fashion, I not only reached my goal of a full marathon after only 16 weeks of training, I’ve run three full marathons within 12 months. Sometimes I need to sit back and remember that there are many people who take years to reach that stage!
Am I compulsive? Probably. Is that a bad thing? Not as long as I’m being sensible and not injuring myself. And outside of experiencing the fatigue and grouchiness of over-training before my first marathon (and now knowing what it’s like, and what to avoid, and to embrace rest days, and not to run every run like I’m being chased by an angry pack of Justin Bieber fans), I haven’t injured myself. No sprains, no shin splints, no icing my knees, no back problems, no tendon issues, nothing.
I’m realistic. I’m a middle of the pack runner. I look at some guys my age running marathons at 4:20/km pace and shake my head in awe. I know the only way I’ll ever podium is to keep running long enough to be the only one in my age group. But it’s not about beating others or coming first, it’s about being the best me I can. I’m healthy, I’m happy, and I don’t spend all my time in front of my computer like I would if I wasn’t running. I’m even trying to start/keep up cross-training to get some upper body strength. I watch what I eat, and while I’m not anal about healthy eating, I’ve improved while still enjoying my food. My cholesterol levels have all come down to well within normal limits after only 12 months. I’ve made some great ‘runner’ friends in the Google+ running community, some of whom I’ve met in person, and many which I will make a valiant effort at meeting and possibly running with.
But by far the biggest benefit has been how I feel about myself. I’m a stronger person, a better person, for running. When my insecurities come up to nibble at me, I can sneer at them and say “I’m a RUNNER!”. So yeah, I can accept not hitting my 50 km’s per week every week. I’m still on track for over 2013 km’s for 2013. And while I’ve dropped to third place in my dailyburn.com most kilometres for 2013 challenge, I’m only 30 km’s down from the leader.
Okay, maybe I’m a ‘little’ competitive. *laughing*