Wednesday was National Running Day and to celebrate I laced up and ran down to the boardwalk. This was the first time I’ve run along the oceanfront since we moved back to Virginia Beach. With the move and the travel that the last month held, I’ve found myself hiking, walking at the beach and chasing after my parent’s puppy more often than I’ve found myself running.
But, alas, National Running Day had arrived, marking the start of those precious 20 or so weeks until fall marathon season. It’s time to start running again.
I ran a few miles alongside the ocean, working out the kinks in my legs and feeling a bit stiff. I’m always hopeful that my legs will feel snappy after a period of rest, but this simply wasn’t the case Wednesday. The afternoon was beautiful – sunny and in the mid-70s – tourists were rinsing their feet at the boardwalk showers after enjoying the day at the beach. I was glad to be running, but, honestly, I would have preferred to plop down under an umbrella alongside the other beachgoers.
I read an article today that described how before an important marathon Deena Kastor’s coach simply told her: “define yourself.”
This reminded me of the Aristotle quote, “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I’m glad that I ran yesterday. I’m glad that I put my shoes on and got out the door. I hope to pull off a half marathon PR in the fall. These words were a welcome reminder that I get to define myself and part of process of defining lies in repetition. If I want to be a runner, if I want to PR, then I must run and I must choose to run again and again and again. The task of defining oneself is daunting, but like most things in life that are both difficult and worth doing, it begins with putting one front in front of the other.