I didn’t run today.
Today – the first day of the year. A day I didn’t have to work, and therefore wouldn’t have had to run in the dark. A day that was supposedly the first day of marathon training.
I just didn’t do it.
Five years ago, that would not have been the case. Back then, running wasn’t something I worked into my schedule – my schedule was something I worked around my running. My routine was explicitly designed to facilitate rigorous training, and I was surrounded by coaches and teammates each and every step of the way, encouraging me and holding me accountable. My passion for competition fueled my loyalty to my team and drive to succeed.
Things are different now. I have different priorities. Different responsibilities. I don’t run every day. Even if I had the time, I probably wouldn’t want to.
But that doesn’t change anything.
I still get lost in running conversation with anyone who will humor me.
I still get absolutely giddy when non-running friends show the slightest bit of interest in the sport.
I still sign up for every road race that makes logistic sense.
I still obsessively look up – and analyze – race results on Sunday afternoons.
I still prefer to explore new cities and neighborhoods on foot.
I might not be in fantastic shape. My training might be a disgrace to the running community at large. I might never come close to touching a PR for any distance shorter than 10K. This “running” blog might find its pages graced with more pictures of my dog and tales of my culinary failures* than training logs and race results.
But there’s no question:
I’m still a runner.
*Too much onion. Always too much onion. Sigh.