I'm feeling really good about my running in general. Mainly because I'M FIFTY (how long do you think I can milk this thing? I'm thinking a loooong time, haha), and I can do what I want. With FIFTY comes a lot of empowerment. Who do I need to please? Me. Especially when it comes to something physical - let's face it, running is all on me. And I've struggled with it for quite a while now. I've tried many different ways to do it "right" - via intervals, a short walk break at each mile, walking the hills, slowing down, speeding up - all good, but nothing that has brought back the Shelley Runner of 2010. And I realize that time moves on, people get older (ahem), and things aren't quite the same, but you know what? I was a pretty decent runner back then, and I miss that feeling. So what was different?
Well, much as I hate to say it, I mostly did my long runs alone. I ran, I walked, I powered through - and I wasn't half bad at it. Yes, I love my running buddies, but I've come to realize that no matter who I'm doing a long run with on Saturdays, I'm stressing about keeping up with their pace so much that I think I unintentionally slow myself down...trying to save myself so that I can make it through the entire run. I've been tempted to buy a shirt that says "Running is mental, and we are all crazy" because, YES. I am the poster child when it comes to letting my mind overrule my legs and lungs. So I'm going to run solo once we start training...I'm sure there will be parts of the run (especially the shorter distances) where I'll be with other people, but first and foremost, I'm going to do my own thing and not worry about keeping up with anyone.
Besides, I don't do this for fun:
Bandages covering my injection sites; also please note the pity party pedicure that I treated myself to prior to that doctor's appointment.
I willingly let my orthopedist stick a needle into my right ankle and top of my left foot every few months, just so I can run with less pain. So if I'm going to do this, I might as well have the best run possible, both mentally and physically, right?
That's my plan for the upcoming training season (it starts at the end of this month) - run, walk, whatever - just keep moving forward, stop stressing, and enjoy the run!
Speaking of enjoyment, here's a few pictures from my recent runs:
About 20 runners met up at 6:00 am last Wednesday to celebrate National Running Day. Here's Julia and I with Dan, one of the owners of our local running store.
And here's Mike, the other owner - I about busted a gut laughing at his outfit. It's all technical fabric, but seriously - doesn't he look like a man from the 1960s, wearing plaid Bermuda shorts, a white undershirt, black crew socks...and those shoes - oh man, those shoes. He swears if I tried them on I'd see what the fuss is about, but seriously...those shoes are too crazy! Any case, he was a good sport in letting me poke fun (and yes, this picture ended up on Facebook, where even MORE people got to witness his awesome ensemble)!
Times like these makes waking up super early worth it!