>The Non-Race Mentality: A Paradigm Shift

>Today I had a great run. It wasn’t particularly fast, and it wasn’t anything special like a tempo or interval session. Just a leisurely three miles up and down University. I went out to get in a short run before sunset; the weather was just too gorgeous to ignore.

I let myself sink into an easy pace of about 10:35, slightly faster than my target marathon pace of 10:45-10:55. I enjoyed the smells of spring.. the freshly cut grass, the tilled soil, the fresh air. There was no breeze except for one created by motion.

I love the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement, of dashing around broken glass and impurities in the cement. This particular route has seen a lot of me.. from one of my first “long” runs of 2.22 miles to my first five-miler at 55:41. Why I remember those numbers, I don’t know. I just know I’ve felt success on that sidewalk… in the rain, snow, in the humidity of summer.

While I still care about my pace and am ecstatic that my new Garmin is feeing my obsession with numbers, I am learning to run for the sport of it, for the fun, for feeling alive. I feel like with a new balance of my attitude toward running, I have arrived as a runner. My race on Sunday has proven that.

In two years, I’ve come a long way, literally. Running has helped me mature emotionally and redeemed me physically. It’s helped me cope with loneliness and lack of control over certain situations. It’s taught me patience, and it’s convinced me that our God is The Healer and Great Physician…

I went for my follow-up appointment and all is well! I’m still anemic, but my levels are almost back to normal. After my fiasco on Wednesday and all the thought and prayer about it, I’m so glad that I am free and clear to run the marathon and train for a tri if I want! I think that’s my 2012 or 2013 goal, to do a half-distance tri..1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run… 70.3! Hmm… on second thought, maybe that will be the distance to complete before I turn 30. 😉