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Hi people!

I think I can tell the same story as a lot of you can tell right now.  Maybe.  You'll see that I don't talk to a lot of runners these days. 

Running has been a part of my identity since I was in high school, although I have always struggled with my relationship with running.  Sometimes it was just running.  Sometimes I was happy to go out for a routine run and felt that I needed it more than I felt obligated to it.  There have been times that sticking to my running expectations created inner turmoil and feelings of insufficiency.  I've ignored injuries, I've nursed depression with months of not running.  I have won small local road races just as many times as I have walked off a course to a DNF (neither many times, but it's an example of being all over the place).  But running has always been personal to me. 

My father and I have a long history of running the Peachtree Road Race together.  I've been living out of state since 2014, and moved back in late 2019.  COVID crushed the excitement of PRR2020, but the old man is still going, so we got another chance, at long last, this year.  The race was great, as it always is.  But as we are always evolving as people, I had my first "no shame run in public" where I just let my body do what it could.  Yes, I am out of shape, and I knew better than to expect anything faster than 10:00 min miles.  There's always that edge that racing and competition give you, and I always think that maybe I will pull out some magical time due to that hyper-drive state.  But this year I didn't want to.  I wanted to be right where I was, I wanted to do exactly what I could, and I didn't want to feel inferior because of it.  Running is so mental, in all the ways one can interpret that. 

What a freeing feeling it was to just let go and enjoy a day with my dad.  He whooped me, of course, but it was fun! 

All this said, I have realized that my struggle with my own ideal of what kind of runner I SHOULD be has drained the enjoyment out of it all.  I have isolated myself from making runner friends, from running groups, and even from talking about running.  I made it too hard and too high pressure.  So today, I set the Garmin face to show only my heart rate.  Whenever I couldn't slow my pace down enough to get down from threshold, I walked.  I even walked in front of another runner; no posturing!  I walked most of the way home!  And I was happy for it!

Anyway, I know it's kind of quiet here these days.  I hope that just maybe any of you who come by this get a little boost.

My name's Crystal.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey, I was looking to contact Cliff about something and saw he answered this post. I must have missed it when you wrote (in July). Sorry about that, because I love to see anyone new to the group writing and adding another voice. I feel like there are mostly crickets here lately. Anyway, hope you are still here and hope you come back regularly, even if it's only to comment.

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