Isn’t it great when non-runners look at you crazy for being excited to run? We pretend to be annoyed by their silly comments.
I don’t even like to drive that far!
I only run when something is chasing me!
I run… to the refrigerator!
Everyone laughs and then we go on about our respective lives. But I imagine that most runners secretly hold in the pride they feel when they hear such things.
Pride because of the joy it brings us. Pride because of the sense of accomplishment we feel. Pride because of how it influences us to make better decisions in other areas of our lives (usually).
We wonder if they are envious of our physical abilities or do they actually think we are certifiably nuts?
I had this notion a few years ago that I was never going to run a 100 mile race. That just seemed, well, ludicrous! My body was just not the type that could manage to finish something like that, let alone train.
Yet, here we are.
And the more I listen to stories of people accomplishing amazing things in running, the more I believe that it really is possible to do things we never thought we’d do.
I have been lucky to follow the journeys of so many fantastic runners. We won’t always get faster and we may not always run further, but challenging ourselves is what (in my opinion) sets us apart from the hobby joggers.
I have no big races to report on. No big workouts to share. Assuming I’m playing the comparison game of course. Comparing to other runners. Comparing to 2017 Carissa.
But I just completed a huge workout! 4 miles in the rain. I was thinking about my metatarsal and my tibia probably 80% of the run. Worrying if my gait was okay. Worrying if my cadence was okay. In a constant flux of am I doing enough or too much?
And it may seem silly to say in the midst of all this worrying that I was somehow also really, really happy.
It was humid and drizzling after a thunderstorm rolled through. I almost drove home, but decided very last minute to stop at the track. The high school football team was pouring from the main building to the stadium and I almost bailed at the thought of sharing the space when them.
But they were getting in their $50,000 cars and driving home, leaving me to the track by myself. I laughed a bit thinking how perfect the conditions were if I were at the top of my game. But why couldn’t I appreciate it while coming back?
So I fired up my Spotify “Comeback” playlist and laced up my new shoes labeled “Nike Pegasus Turbo The Comeback Shoe” and walked 400 meters before I started to run.
You know how a summer rain run almost feels like you getting away with something? Like it’s a crazy little secret that’s yours. And you don’t want to tell too many people how awesome it is because what makes it great is that you usually have the running space to yourself?
Yeah, so I’m acutely aware of the possibility that someone might see the shit-eating grin on my face as I shuffle around and around. There are the moments that I’m able to forget. I get lost in my thoughts briefly and when I’m jolted back to reality, I’m almost angry that I slipped back to consciousness. Because those lost-in-my-thoughts moments are great on any run, but they are especially great when all I can think about is my stupid injury.
The rain picks up a bit and I look around the empty field, not at all surprised that I’m the only person in my vantage point.
And I’m kind of happy that no one is in on my little secret today. At some point, I realized running circles in the humid rain alone might sound awful. But I’m lucky I’ve returned to my happy place.