I got to thinking the past few days. That happens once in awhile. So, I’m just going to share some random thoughts.
I’ve tried to run with pretty poor results but it’s OK. I stopped physical therapy but I still hurt. So, I take it one step at a time; literally. But, moving – even with a lot of discomfort – is better than not moving. Of course in the back of my mind I do wonder how long it’ll be before I can run again… if ever. Yet, I simultaneously feel I’m coming back; and that it is happening day by day.
Something that is becoming easier for me is not comparing my current “running” (I can barely call it that) with my past running. I have not raced in almost 5 years now. I’ve participated in some races – but not raced. I spend far more time coaching others. Intellectually I know I won’t ever run as fast as I once did. I do miss running fast and that feeling of power and control over my body. I used to be able to push my limits and loved doing so. Now – not so much. But, I still love the movement. I do miss running WITH my runners however.
I’ve learned over these recent years that I get a lot of satisfaction living vicariously.
I revel in the joy I see in runners I coach. I rejoice in their PR efforts and those breakthrough long runs. I have to sit back and smile seeing a time trial effort yield faster paces than ever imagined. The first sub-8:00 mile for someone brings as much satisfaction as that first sub-4:20 in another runner. Breaking 20:00 in a 5K; qualifying for Boston; hitting Masters All-American status; completing a first marathon; running a non-stop mile for the first time; all bring unique feelings of satisfaction.
I know what it takes to achieve these personal milestones. I see the diligence, persistence and patience it requires. The journeys are all unique and yet there are so many similarities. To see running, racing, and “succeeding” in running through each runner’s eyes is fascinating to me.
Here’s another thing I notice. Age is irrelevant. The delight of a 60 year old setting an age-group PR for the 5K is no less than that of a high schooler. We’re never too old to experience that rush.
Too often we are so involved with making progress, setting PRs or beating our arch-rival that we don’t enjoy the process of getting there. I miss the process. OK I also miss setting PRs and beating people. But I really miss the running.
As with so many things you don’t know what you have until you lose it.
One of the things that keeps me going is living vicariously through each one of you. Someday I might be out there again. In the mean time keep running for those of us who can’t. A bad day running is better than a good day not running. And remember – I’m coming back… I’m always coming back!