The more I run, the more I realize what running is. When I was a kid it seemed like running was all about never stopping and going really really fast. There was always some kid who ran a fast mile and had to ask everyone else their time and then declare himself king of the world. In high school it was the same….although on the Cross Country team it was all about being in the cool clique on the team (I never got in..and at this point I consider myself lucky). This idea of running followed me all the way through college.
Last night I stopped out for our team run and found that the Olympic group was doing an 8 miler from Nokomis to Harriet and back. At first I was daunted, “I’ve never done 8 miles before, can I do it?” But once I started running the whole world seemed to fall into place and I got into that “zen” running mindset. All that really mattered were my feet hitting the pavement, and I was lost in my own mind. Somewhere between the high-fives and the “GO TEAM!s” It hit me. So what if I stopped for a few minutes to grab a cup of water and chat with the coaches or take a gel? I am still a runner. So what if I’m not the fastest cyclist or the fastest swimmer? I’m still a triathlete.
And I think that’s what endurance sports are really about. It’s about loving what you do. I run for me, and maybe that’s selfish…I don’t know, but even if it is I’m OK with that. I’m happy with the things I’ve accomplished and the person I’ve become.