Becoming a Runner

Surprising Myself

There's not much prettier than a vineyard in morning light.

There’s not much prettier than a vineyard in morning light.

Since the start of the year, I’ve been meeting Team in Training alumni for a regularly-scheduled run through the hilly vineyards. Most people on the distribution list are gearing up for a half marathon at the end of March. I’m just doing a 10k training program through Another Mother Runner, so my scheduled “long” runs are only topping out at 4 miles or so. My plan is usually to go out about two miles, then turn around and come back.

Two weeks ago I pushed it a bit and hit 6 miles. Not bad.

Last week my running partner and I started talking. We hit the 2-mile turnaround point. I kept going. The 3-mile turn came and went. I stuck with her until she turned at 4 miles, for a total of 8.1 miles altogether. I was plenty tired at the end, of course, but I felt ok.


Slow and steady finishes the race.

Much to my surprise, I could still walk the next day. In fact, I didn’t really feel like I’d run much at all. And that’s when it hit me: if I could crank out an 8-miler like it was no big deal… nah, couldn’t be. Could it? After all of these years, was I becoming a runner?

I certainly won’t be mistaken for having the grace of an elite competitor, but that’s not what I’m striving for. I’m in my 40s and have better mental and physical endurance than I did in my 20s. There’s something to be said for that.

Now I need to decide if I should register for that half with everyone else.

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