I like running…. a lot. I might even admit to loving it on good days. Ok and on bad days. Yes, I love running. But, the truth is, I haven’t always been a runner. I actually avoided it like the plague growing up. Oh, if I had only known. That said, I’m a big believer in that whole “You never know what you’re truly capable of” thing. At least, it’s been true for me.
But, what changed?
Life… priorities… having an open mind… the thrill of a new challenge… digging deep to push myself.
Or, maybe it’s just that I finally found my magic formula.
When you’re NOT a runner you JUST DON’T GET IT. I used to be that person. I’d complain about having to log miles, about being out of breath, about how much my legs hurt. And then, one day, on a random run something clicked. I discovered the magic.
For me, the magic involves getting inside my head. While I’m running, I work things out. I organize my brain and reset my spirit. I get competitive. I push myself hard because I KNOW I can give more. The magic is coming home from a run — whether it’s 20 or 2 miles and feeling happy. Just because. The magic is not noticing the sweat dripping down your face or the bloody blisters on your feet. The magic is that feeling — where you think, “I could have run further”, especially when you didn’t REALLY want to run in the first place.
Come race day, my magic formula is a mix of things. It’s the buildup of pre-race jitters, the camaraderie of other runners, and it’s feeling the adrenaline as each mile ticks by. As the miles get long, it’s jamming out to whatever (probably odd) playlist I’ve created, high-fiving cheering kids, finding a faster runner to “chase”, and glancing down at my Garmin each mile pushing for negative splits. Even if I tell myself, “I’m just running for fun” my magic formula usually includes a competitive element. Truthfully, my legs always WANT to go faster. When the magic is happening, my heart and my head also agree.
My magic formula isn’t always present. I’ve certainly had my share of bad runs and races. I’ve battled injury, fought the Florida heat and humidity, and struggled to run while pregnant. Those runs are hard, but they are necessary. They make you stronger and give you a comparable baseline. They give you a mental toughness you can’t train for, and they remind you of how good the magic feels and how eventually, someday, hopefully soon… it will return.
What’s your Magic Formula?
Michelle is a busy mom of three, with a full-time job, and a running problem. She blogs at Crazy Running Legs and never imagined she would describe herself as athletic, let alone a runner. Since catching the running bug, she has raced three 5Ks, two 10Ks, one 15K, 14 half marathons (including two while pregnant!), and one full marathon. She is currently training to run a 1:55 (or less) half marathon. Michelle also loves a good spin class, eating amazing food, and drinking copious amounts of wine. She blogs for motivation and to inspire others to get moving while living life in moderation. She runs to keep sane and find that every day balance.