I have trouble referring to myself as a runner or worse, an athlete. A severe case of imposter syndrome? Perhaps. I’m comfortable in identifying myself as an ‘Also ran’. I like that description. It’s non-threatening, keeps me in my comfort zone and doesn’t hurt my feelings. I took up running well into my thirties and have found that I love it. I’m no speedy Gonzales, far from it. A solid, middle of the pack runner is what I am and that’s a fun place to be. That’s the sweet spot that finds you lots of company at races – to share your agony with.
I run to stay fit. Often, I run away from life’s challenges to get some perspective. In addition to the post-run feel-good endorphin rush, the capacity to break mental walls on long runs is unparalleled. It is simply, the easiest of all workout activities. You can go as fast or as slow as you want, when you want, where you want. Beat that. In terms of gear there’s not much you need other than a good pair of shoes, some warm weather outfits (for winter runs) and of course, enthusiasm.
I ran over 1200 miles last year without much of a struggle. If I can do it, anyone can. That’s why this post.
To motivate myself to keep running, I find that signing up for races well in advance helps. Paying money to do something is usually an excellent motivator. One of the goals I had set for myself for 2019 was to run at least 12 official races in the year: 10 official half marathons and 2 marathons. And here’s how I actually fared:
- 13.1 miles: 7 races
- 20 miles: 2 races
- 26.2 miles: 2 races scheduled 6 months apart, in June and December.
In terms of mileage, I guess I met my goal, albeit with fewer medals. Barring one half marathon at a 10:05 pace, most were in the 9:20 – 9:50 min/m pace. The longer races were a little slower but all with a 10:xx pace. To boot, I had a 26.2 PR on the last race of the year, the California International Marathon (By a minute. Still a PR.). Goes to show there is always room for improvement if you keep trying.
I mostly track runs on my Apple watch. It was an eye opener to see my monthly mileage.
As you can see, I did diddly squat throughout summer but then ramped up again. Not because it was hot or difficult to run. I just lacked the motivation for long runs without a marathon lurking in the corner. Plus, I somehow translate my daughter’s summer vacation into a vacation for my routine. Well, Ce la vie.
In my 2019 running journey, I didn’t have any stellar performances (other than the barely improved marathon PR) but better yet, I did not break my body. What do you get for the effort, you ask? BBB – bling, bananas and bragging rights. Makes me a happy camper.
What’s ahead? Hoping to add to our Family Wall of Fame in 2020