Once again a runner

Yep, Im officially declaring that “Im back” to the world of running.  Over the past 5 months running and I have had a very rocky relationship.  I was burnt out, plagued by injury (first my IT band, then the infamous fall) and I haven’t really felt like a “runner” either physically or mentally.

But this weekend I finally ran a full three miles….no walking.  And I have no idea what my pace was, but I felt like I was RUNNING again, not just shuffling along.

Those of you who don’t necessarily align yourself with the running community may not understand the significance of this.  Other of you know exactly what Im talking about.  Because once you become a runner, the only thing that makes you feel like yourself is running.

For some reason, three miles is my default definition as the minimum distance to be qualified “a run.”  Yes, you can run less than that, but it woudnt’ be classified as “run.”  At least to me…obviously everyone has their own definition.  So finally running an entire three miles for the first time in a few months truly was significant.  I ran/walk this distance the other day, but it just wasn’t the same.  Now I can finally say that I went on a run.

I have had varying degrees of dedication to running throughout the past 12 years since I started running the summer before my senior year of high school.  But except for a few other periods where I have struggled with an injury or two, I have always held strong to at least three mile runs.  I have run in the morning, evening, afternoon, inside, outside, on vacation, through all four seasons and in many different states.  I have ran alone, with music, with silence, and with my best friends.  Those 25-30 minutes have been with me through all stages of my transition to adulthood…college, my first job, and 5 years of grad school.  I think the only reason I survived grad school in Pittsburgh was being able to head out of the office and three blocks later be on a trail by the river (don’t ask me WHICH river, however) overlooking downtown.  This provided me a nice break from the bustle of the city, the pace of grad school and gave me a better perspective in life.

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So as I have already said, Im not sure where I want running to take me next.  I have to admit that I have been neglecting doing anything for my IT band, my injury nemesis, since I fell over 6 weeks ago.  And on Saturdays 3 miler I was already beginning to feel some tightness.  I would like to train for some 5/10ks and maaaaaaaybe even a half marathon or two this fall, but Im not totally sure my body will let me.

For now, I want to work on gaining back endurance, leaning down a bit, and getting back to winning or at least placing in my age group in the local races like the ones pictured below 🙂 (photo source:  GoErie.com)

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Im just happy to report I finally feel like myself again.  Funny how three miles can do that.

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