I’ve been thinking about running a lot lately. As the summer goes by, I have run less and less. Have you notice? I know I can still run 5 miles and probably 8, but any more than that? That’s questionable. I CAN run shorter distances faster. I can also tolerate the treadmill, but I used to average 20 miles a week – easy. These days, I am lucky to get in 10.
I have been taking an unofficial break from running since my last half marathon in March. For a few months I kept up my long runs, but I guess over time (and a new schedule) long runs have been phased out. Lots of spin workouts, strength training, and short runs on the treadmill have replaced my slower, outdoor run therapy sessions.
Does this mean I am still a runner?
I want to think yes. I mean, after all, my blog title is STILL Crazy RUNNING Legs. And I still love running more than ANY other form of exercise in the world. In my heart, I know I have another marathon in me – maybe more. Hopefully next year – if not in the not terribly distant future.
I can’t imagine NOT calling myself a runner. Despite getting addicted to running later than most, I can’t help think it’s become a part of my identity. A few months ago, at a dinner party, I was introduced as a “a marathoner!” which, for a minute, took me by surprise, but then I realized that a) yes, yes it’s true and b) wow – this is how (some) people see me! As someone who was relatively undefinable in my earlier years of life (I don’t think “chubby girl with frizzy hair and crazy legs” counts), it was kind of a moment for me.
But at the same time, as I drift further and further away from running, I can’t help but think I’m drifting further and further away from being that person. I don’t WANT to be that person who just ran one marathon and “gave up”, but to be honest I FEAR becoming that person.
What if the drive to race again never comes back? What if running “decides” it doesn’t want me back? When do I cross the line and become someone who is no longer a runner? There are a lot of what ifs, there are a lot of things I questions about myself, there are things that I worry about, that take up space in my head for no good reason. And I then, I read this (the font is really tiny, but it’s worth squinting for!)…
and I remember why I run and why running will FOREVER be important to me.
Yep, I’m still a runner.