Living life out loud = what it's all about

Another sure sign I’m an obsessed runner: when I’m not running, I’m reading about running.

This is never more true than on a Monday, my lone rest day of the week, when I haven’t had to make sure my running shoes are in the mini-van for later in the morning and I just don’t worry whether I did in fact throw my favorite hoodie in the wash instead of leaving it lying in a stinking heap at the bottom of my hamper. The extra time I have to rest my body from the rigors of training translates to more time to catch up on the latest happenings in the world o’ running (or, I should say, the world of running which I’ve created for myself through Facebook page “likes,” Twitter friend connections and blog subscriptions.) 

But come to think of it really, I’m catching up with my favorite runners’ posts and tweets most everyday. It’s become habit, part of my daily routine. I guess that’s what we do when we discover a new hobby or realize just how passionate we feel about a certain part of our lives — we seek out like-minded individuals who feel the same way we do. We recognize their experiences because they’re our own — or they’re something we want to experience.

Today I stumbled across this gem of a post by writer Mare Henderson. She talks about why she runs, and I found myself nodding along as I read her reasons. A couple of my favorites:

I run to breathe… My mind, body & soul require it… so that I can… exhale the toxins & inhale a better me!

And (anyone who is both a runner and is married should be able to understand this one…):

Then I got married …and to stay married… I kept running.

 

I read stories of runners, from all walks of life, facing all different kinds of adversity, accomplishing all sorts of things through running, and I get so inspired. I feel competitive in that healthy kind of way — not wanting to best anyone else but myself, to push my body and mind to see what I might be capable of achieving. That’s what I love about reading others’ stories.

I also get stoked thinking about the cool tribe I’m part of just by being a runner. Lisa and I talked about this at our weekly check-in. It took me a moment to fully understand what she meant when she offered up Week 7’s principle:

All registrants are elite.

“You don’t have to be an elite runner to treat yourself like an elite runner,” she tells me.

This is to say that we runners who are in the midst of training, no matter the race or distance, are doing something special. And we should recognize this in ourselves. “You’re different than that person just walking down the street — you’re training for something,” she says. “It’s there, it influences every decision you make. That’s how other people feel who have signed up and committed to a date.”

Heading into Week 7, I’m definitely feeling committed. My Nike+GPS keeps a tally of my miles, and this past week that number rolled past 200. 219.7 miles since Nov. 25th 2010, which is a month before I began training for the marathon. I figure I’ve run 153 miles since training began Dec. 28th 2010.

This week’s mileage plan:

Tuesday: 4
Wednesday: 7 (increase from 6)
Thursday: 4
Friday: 6
Saturday: 3-5
Sunday: 10

Goal: Focus on recovery habits — fueling up with plenty of water and food post-run. “My theory is you crave what you need,” Lisa says. So, I’m going to try to pay closer attention to this.

Happy (passionate) running, friends!

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