It was during the summer of 2012 that I became a runner. That’s not to say I had never run before. Back in the ’80s, I did 2 seasons of spring track (high hurdles). I had also done the random 5K and mud run with the (very) occasional training run leading up to them. I had never considered myself a runner though just like I never considered myself a basketball player despite playing HORSE from time to time. In order to identify myself as a runner, it needed to be a consistent activity.
That changed in May or June of 2012. I don’t know the exact date. Not because I can’t remember it, but because there probably wasn’t one moment where I went from non-runner to runner. I had agreed to train for a half marathon with my wife and it was about then that I began my training plan. I was focused on building up my mileage and it was somewhere in here that I became a runner. A neophyte runner for sure, but a runner nonetheless.
Running Long Since 2013
When I started this blog back in 2015, I added this to my header as a warning to those who stumbled upon it. I didn’t want someone to read a post and put too much weight into any opinions I expressed. I’m just a random internet guy after all. A couple years later, I added the asterisks to re-emphasize the warning since doing something for 5 or 6 years implies a certain level of proficiency.
And now I’ve reached the point where I either need to remove that asterisks or add another one. Getting rid of it makes sense as I’ve managed to run consistently for 10 years without injuring myself. I’ve finished 40 plus ultras over this time and I now feel comfortable and confident tackling any distance up to 100 miles. Counterbalancing this is that while I know what works from a running standpoint, I only know that it works for me. I have lots of advice to give, however it could be complete rubbish without the context of my life.
The one piece of advice I feel confident giving is that you have to do you. We’re all an experiment of one and what works for me may not work for you. And if you’re like me, what works today may not work tomorrow and definitely won’t work a year from now. So stay flexible. Adapt and experiment with everything: training, gear, nutrition, running surfaces, races.
Above all else, do what you want to do and not what you think you have to do. Life’s too short to force square pegs into round holes. Following this has kept me running for the past decade. And hopefully in 2032 I’ll be writing a blog post titled “20 Years a Runner”.