Long time, no post. I know, I know. My foray with injury and my six week hiatus from running was a fairly low point for me. I did get way more comfortable on the bike than I have been in the past. I am not going to do a century anytime soon, but, I do feel like I could do the bike portion of a sprint tri. Now if only I could feel that good about my swimming!
But, now I am back at it and training for a new marathon! I am doing the Rocket City marathon in Alabama in December. I am in week three of training and so far, so good. Because I am easing back into running from my injury I am doing a walk/run program and gradually increasing my ratio each week. Like I said, so far, so good. Other than the fact that I feel more fit, worry about my weight less and have a compelling reason to get up in the morning, there are so many reasons why I love running. But I have noticed one thing that really sticks out: Confidence.
You see, before running I have never in my life been able to call myself an athlete. I am clumsy and usually overweight. And while I may still be a little chubby, I can say with confidence that I am a marathon runner. It is a title I have earned and that no one can take away. And no matter how long it takes me, or how well my jeans fit this week, I am a marathon runner. That something that the majority of the population hasn’t accomplished. It is something that, even if you have no desire to do, you can respect. And that respect gives me a confidence that I haven’t known previously.
In theory, I like the idea of living free of labels. But in actuality, I thrive on them. I am strongly opinionated in my politics, my beliefs, and once I decide on a label, such as “runner”, I throw myself it with an amount of gusto that can be borderline obsessive. I therefore want recognition for these benchmarks of life that I work so hard to sort out for myself. And running is just one more label that I can confidently put on and wear with a grin. I stand up straighter, I am more likely to speak up and stand out, more likely to express myself and try something new.
Will I ever win a race? Probably not. But the fact that I try (soon to tri!) and I finish is enough for me to hold my head a little bit higher.