Appreciation For Every Mile

Yesterday officially marked my first day back to running and guess what? It was completely pain free.

I know I shouldn’t really be whining about my injury since 4 weeks out is definitely small in terms of runner injuries. I’ve read posts and heard stories of runners being out for over six months for tears and sprains, so I’m incredibly blessed to have only spent 1 full month out of my running shoes. But it was definitely still a tough 4 weeks, especially since the weather in Seattle has been prime for early morning runs.

None of that truly matters anymore though, because I think I’m finally back.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past 4 weeks is how much I truly enjoy my runs. Parts of me always wondered if I just used running as a coping mechanism to replace swimming, since I truly consider myself a forever-athlete. Or if I used running to fill some void in my life since leaving college and having to enter true adulthood. It would be so easy to get engulfed in the running world since so many people are so passionate about it, whether I truly enjoyed it or not.

But you guys, I learned that I truly do love this sport.

I love the feeling during a hard interval run when you don’t think you’ll be able to push any harder or run another interval afterwards, but you do it anyways. Or the moment after you finish a long Saturday run, knowing you have a big stack of pancakes waiting for you after a nice long stretching session. And by far the best feeling–crossing the finish line at a race where you totally kicked butt and proved to yourself just how much hard work can pay off.

As I start my journey to regain my normal mileage, I’ve realized that I need to have gratitude for each mile that I get the chance to run. In the past, I never would have considered a 1-mile run as something to look forward to. I typically warm up for 1-2 miles before a tough workout, so just having 1 mile of running total on my training calendar would’ve  been a joke. But my run on Wednesday morning was one of my most enjoyable runs so far. I ran with a big grin on my face for the entire 10 minutes and probably looked like the goofiest person at the gym.

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And this was all that I did. 1.13 miles in 10 minutes.

I think as long distance runners, we sometimes get caught up in the hype of putting in insane amounts of mileage and not feeling great unless we can run “x” miles a day. We lose sight of how incredible each mile can be and how amazing our bodies are for letting us continue to do such a demanding sport.

I know in a few weeks my mileage will begin to increase and it will be easy to start focusing on the number of miles once again rather than the quality of each one, but it’s my goal to continue to be gracious for the ability to run in general and be more appreciative of each mile I’m able to pump out.

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Running is my happy place and I fully intend to smile through each mile the same way I smiled through my first mile back on Wednesday!

Thanks for the link up Amanda!

 

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