Are you planning to celebrate? In my opinion, even 1 mile is free reign to carbo-load for the rest of the day. I mean it is a holiday after all. Also celebrating can also include purchasing new running clothes/shoes/gear/fuel. Just saying. 😉
But really, go buy something so my obnoxiously full running gear drawer and I can live vicariously through you.
I ran 7 miles Monday and 10 miles yesterday (full disclosure: I was reading the newest Runner’s World on the treadmill and was really into it so I just kept going), so today I’m thinking I’ll run somewhere in the range of 5-7 miles.
Running means so much to me. I legitimately never thought I would say that. Ever. I used to hate running. I only did it as a means to stay in shape, so that my pants would button. I never ran long enough or far enough to achieve that runner’s high. I only ran on treadmills so I could distract myself from the actual act of running. I just wanted the run to end.
There is a mile long stretch of flat ground (rare in this little city by the bay let me tell you), and I distinctly remember a time back in 2010 where I struggled to run the entire mile.
I remember telling myself, “Just get to the intersection and you can take a break. Just get to the stop sign and you can rest again.”
It took everything I had to run a half-mile before I got to take a break.
Fast forward two years and I’ve run six half-marathons, trained for a full marathon, run a full marathon, and have two more halves and two more fulls on the agenda for this year. And I’m hoping to go big in one of those fulls. Very big. Sub 3:35 big.
I’d say I’ve come quite a long way from those days of trying to finish a mile without stopping to rest. A hell of a long way.
My point here is that running isn’t always easy. It definitely wasn’t for me. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Running is hard. It’s hard to get into running shape. It takes time, patience, determination, motivation, will-power and a hell of a lot of work. It takes cross-training, diet, sleep, saying no to the occasional happy hour in favor of a run and a lot of discipline.
But if you put in that work, if you set a goal and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there, to make running feel easy, to make it fun and something you enjoy… I’m living (and running!) proof that it’s worth it, and you can and will get there, 100% of the time.
Today? I crave my daily runs. I look forward to them. I cherish the miles I’m pounding the pavement (or treadmill). I love how strong it makes my body feel. I love how clear it makes my mind feel. I love the knowing nod or smile when you pass a fellow runner in the morning. That we’re in this together, and even though I may be running too hard to actually speak, that support is there.
Running is such a funny sport – you push your pace, your mileage, and your body to distances and speeds you never thought possible, mentally or physically. You support each and every other runner around you, because just like you they’re trying to be the best they can personally be.
In any sport I’ve ever played (swimteam, soccer), I’ve never once wished for everyone to crush their goals 100% of the time. That would be I lose. I come in second-place. My team doesn’t win the championship. Running is different. I want you to win. I’ll come in second-place, or one-thousandth place. Our goals are different, and I want to hit mine as badly as I want you to hit yours. You run your race, and I’ll run mine.
And I’ll be cheering for you every single step of every single mile along the way.
Happy National Running Day!