Starting where you are

I ran this morning.

I really wanted to go, and although I had planned on strength training, I chose to heed the call to get some miles instead. I’m so glad I did. I’m a runner. You could also say an out-of-shape runner, or a runner on vacation, or a runner who hasn’t run much this year, but I’m still a runner.

My personal long is 5.55 miles, and at one point my average distance was 50 miles/month. It’s been a long time since I’ve hit either of those two metrics. I pretty much gave up running late last year when I began spending more time in hotels than my own home. I don’t know if you know this, but many hotel treadmills suck, and that’s only if you can manage to snag one before 5:30 in the morning.

Not the business.

Me & Blue, after my 1st run this year.
Me and Blue after my
first run this year.

But I love endorphins and being fit, so I certainly didn’t give up templebuilding altogether. I did high intensity aerobics in my hotel room and lifted weights whenever I was home. And then, I moved. Gone was my 4-mile running trail past dolphins and jumping fish. Not only would I have to figure out new routes, but I’d have the added challenge of real elevation in the mix. Georgia has hills.

I ran my first miles of the year a couple of weeks ago. A little over two one day, a little under 3 the other. Both of those were on the familiar flat terrain of Florida. My legs and hips protested. I ached after. The good ache, though. More of a you’re-cross-training-and-it’s-awesome ache. I’m in Georgia now, and those five miles brought the running itch back.

So today, with little more than the thought of “running about two miles – to the park, around and back,” I headed out.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 10.35.20 AM

It was hard. And it was great. I’ve decided to push myself and run a few more times the rest of the month. My goal? 20 miles. It doesn’t matter that I used to run 50 miles in a month. It doesn’t matter my average pace used to be a little over 9-minute miles. It doesn’t matter that I used to run 4 or more miles at a time. I refuse to judge myself by a metric applicable to the person I was then, but am not now.

Today’s me is a runner, starting from scratch. First time running hills. First time running 20 miles in 2013. I can’t start from where I was. But I can start from where I am. The starting line is wherever you are right now. All you have to do is begin.

Ready? Set… Go!

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