A long time ago in a land far far away, I was a proper runner. Someone who did half marathons every month, ran 50 odd kilometres across a week blah de blah blah.
As the years went by, my mileage and my confidence dropped off, and even though I still described myself as a runner, it was a bit of a hollow title, I didn’t think I really deserved the moniker anymore – but now, I think, I’m back. While it does have a lot to do with the fact that I’ve cranked up my mileage, it’s more than that – here are five things I’ve noticed recently that make me feel like a runner again…
1) I have started to use words like race-fuel – and there is cereal in the cupboard. I only ever eat cereal when I’m training for a race. My theory is that it’s one of those foods you can buy anywhere and so the fact that I’m flying to another country won’t matter, I can still run on roughly the same type of food. As yet I have not bought Powerade, but next week is a 90-minute run – that’s when it’ll start.
2) My current favourite running song is Imagine Dragons On Top of the World. It came on while I was doing my Parkrun the other day and I thought ‘this is what I feel like right now – soooo happy’. Here, have a listen…..it’s great. I’ve put the version with the lyrics on because it also pretty much sums up training for a half or full too – I didn’t realise quite how much I’d missed ‘paying my dues to the dirt’
3) I’m feeling confident enough to comment on other runners blogs – and even offer advice. I haven’t felt qualified enough to do that for a long time and even now I feel a bit of a fraud as I’m not training super hard – but I’ve got a lot of race experience, I figure I can bring something to the party.
4) I’m taking careful note of the length of my toenails – and I currently have ten of them and I would like it to stay that way.
5) I actually sobbed at the sight of a bucket of sponges: I think this was the defining moment I decided I was back……I was on a training run along the route of a race happening in my local area – it was an hour before the start so they were just getting set up with water stops and what-have-you and I happened to run past one and saw a bucket of sponges.
Next thing I know I was off – full-on choky sobs and actual tears as I remembered what it’s like to actually run a race. That sense of fear at the start and joy at the finish and all those other emotions in the miles in between – and I realised that in 80 odd days I’ll be at the start line again. Honestly, I’ve got no hope when the gun goes off and the fireworks start, I’ll be blubbing like a baby.
I’m so excited…..yay, I’m a runner again.