I am a runner
There are many things about being with Daren that make me feel like I have come home. Back in the day I used to run. I ran well and was good at it. It was part of my identity. Over the years and one knee surgery later I no longer ran and hadn’t even fully realized how much of myself I had given up. One month into our relationship Daren took me to an annual party in Tacoma, WA where we ran, and I say that generously, the Sound to Narrows 12K run. It sucked and it was beautiful.
Meeting my match in Daren is so much more and so different than I imagined it would be. This weekend I ran my first 10 mile workout run ever. I have come home. I AM A RUNNER.
I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.
I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.
I AM A RUNNER because I don’t have running outfits. I have technical shirts and shorts and socks. I have apparel that enhances the experience of running by allowing me to run comfortably. I can say “Coolmax” and “Gore-Tex” in the same sentence and know which does what.
I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I’m pushing the limits of my comfort and why I’m doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate — things I once avoided — are necessary if I want to be a better runner.
I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I’ve done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won’t have to scream in pain later on.
I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.
I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.
I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far.
I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.