I am a runner.
Or am I?
On Thursday evening I went for a run around the lake path, a route I’ve probably put hundreds of miles on over the years. Some short, some long; it’s still home to my fastest unofficial 5K and once held a race that actually gave me my one and only first over all female win.
However that was years ago and this was not a race. All my runs start with at least a 1/2 mile walk. I know it drags down my overall pace but it’s how I warm up so I don’t care. Much. On this night I passed a woman running that I had never seen there before but let’s be honest I recognize the dogs more than the people. We passed each other going opposite directions during my warm up walk. We later passed each other again once I had started running. Only this time she yelled “hell yeah” and gave me a high five.
At first it made me smile… then I started to wonder. Was it a “hell yeah” in runner solidarity or do I just look so damn new out there? More like a newborn fawn these days than a runner?
I’ve made no secret that I’ve been riding the struggle bus since Big Sur. First my back and hips were causing issues then my left foot has been a jerk for the last month. Motivation has been lagging. Hell, the scale has hit the highest number I’ve ever seen. Oh and random asthma attacks have joined the party.
I don’t really feel like a runner anymore. I feel like a fraud.
Running is hard. Getting out the door is hard. Not giving up is hard.
I think that’s part of why I like the medals so much even if that seems petty. They remind me that I can do harder things. They’re a visual I can hold onto when I’m struggling through a 4 mile run. But then that also frustrates me. Why is it so hard??
I don’t want it all to be easy just a little less huffing and puffing would be nice.
I’m not new. But I am. I’m a runner… even on the days I’m not.
It’s one foot in front of the other, right? And repeat.