The Once and Future Runner

I used to be a runner. I ran almost every day – three miles, just like clockwork. I ran in numerous 5K races, did a couple of 10K’s, and even did a half-marathon in December of 2015.

That half-marathon was the end of my running habit. I had not prepared as well as I thought I had, and ended up injuring both of my IT bands. It was horrible – I was able to walk just fine, but anything above a slow jog for more than a quarter of a mile, and I would experience sudden, excruciating pain.

So, I quit running, and eventually found something else to focus on in my spare time. I decided I would become a music artist.

I met all my goals there – I joined a band (which I still play with), I embarked on a solo career, wrote approximately fifty songs, recorded and released two albums of original material, and got paid to play gigs in front of actual paying customers. All within the span of two years.

In the meantime, I continued to walk my dog, Zeus, on a near-daily basis, and occasionally bringing along my daughter’s pitbull, Mac.

Recently, we’ve begun to mix in short run bursts to our walks. Now, when I say “run,” I need to clarify that I was never a very fast runner. My average pace was somewhere in the mid-twelve-minutes-per-mile range.

It’s like we’ve never taken a selfie before…

Our current walk/run mixes are not much faster – for today’s two-and-a-half -mile outing, for instance, we averaged just over 13:15 for the entire trip. But it’s definitely progress. And that got me thinking…

By the end of 2019, I resolve to run a sub-thirty-minute 5K race. For me, this is a lofty goal on two fronts.

First, the prospect of running 3.1 miles without stopping seems extremely daunting. I struggled with it in my previous life as a (younger) runner, and getting to that point again seems kind of unlikely at this point. I’ve never been terribly athletic in general, and I don’t really possess the “succeed against all odds” mindset that many athletes seem to have. Still, I have faith in myself that I can do it.

Second, as I mentioned above, I’ve never been a fast runner, so being able to maintain an average pace greater than ten-minutes-per-mile seems like a pipe dream. That would far surpass my best ever one mile pace, which currently stands at 11:37. To exceed this pace for three consecutive miles will be a chore.

What I’ve Learned

Physically, there’s really no reason I can’t do this. I realize it’s all in my head. But sometimes, mental obstacles are much more difficult to overcome than physical ones.

2 thoughts on “The Once and Future Runner

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