“I Feel Like A Runner”

This is going to sound crazy, especially if you have read a lot of my posts and know that my philosophy is, “If you run, you are a runner.”  It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you go.  You are a runner.

As many of you know, I had a baby eight months ago.  Since then I have been on a comeback to get myself back in physical and running shape.  I decided last fall to sign up for two marathons, one in May in the Poconos and the other in June in Duluth, Minnesota.

BabyBelly2

When I started my training plan back in February, I was a little nervous.  Would my speed come back?  How would my body handle the miles?  Had I done enough base mileage before starting my training?  I was worried that I was setting myself up for failure.

I have a friend who is a great running coach and a great runner.  In fact, she set up my training plan (yes, running coaches seek out other running coaches for help).  One thing I remembered her telling me years ago was, not to worry about my pace on my runs.  “You will naturally start to get faster during your training.”

The first time I followed her plan, I did worry about my paces.  They didn’t seem to be getting any faster.  Maybe I wasn’t doing the plan correctly.  But it all came together on race day, and I started noticing it before then too…..

This week marked my 12th week of marathon training.  Something awesome started to happen at the end of last week, just like the last time.  I was out for a speed work session, running against the wind, and yet I felt strong.  I felt fast.  I felt like my legs were working just the way they should.

BeachRun

Feeling like a runner again!

This is exactly what happened to me last time too.  I got to a point in the training where things started to come together and I “felt like a runner.”  Sure I have always been a runner.  Something was just working for me and it felt great.

I truly believe that this is what happens when you listen to your body, follow a solid plan, and take care of yourself.  Don’t worry about your pacing, let the plan do that for you.  Take breaks or rest days when your body is calling for them.  Adjust when needed.  Fuel and hydrate throughout.  And then let the pieces fall into place when they are supposed to.

That isn’t to say that you won’t have days where your body feels like lead, or you won’t feel slow and sluggish.  Training is supposed to make you feel all of those crazy things.  But keep moving along, and you will start to see the puzzle come together.

18 thoughts on ““I Feel Like A Runner”

  1. Love it – great work sticking to it, lady! Just like so many things in life, running (or in my case, most athletic things other than running, ha) comes with practice and patience. Repetition and being comfortable with the movements make all the difference in the world. And it’s incredibly important to HAVE PATIENCE WITH OURSELVES.

    So excited to hear about the rest of your training and upcoming marathons. 🙂

    XO, Jessica
    http://www.semisweettooth.com

  2. This is fabulous. I did not have a baby, but I have made several comebacks and I know this feeling. In fact, I felt this way around week 8 of my current training cycle. I’d had such a crazy end to my fall season with my calf strain and took a pretty big rest over the holidays. I was sure that the six week period – with 30 days of zero miles in there – would mean that I would never feel like a runner again. I clearly remember a run where I was out running and thought, “I could run forever”. I was back. It is a great feeling. It always comes back – and we know that – but we somehow forget!

  3. It is a funny thing how your mind can mess with you … you KNOW you are a runner, and yet there are times when you have a crappy run (which you know WILL happen) and yet your brain tells you it is all over … and other days when you are feeling awesome you think “I feel like a REAL runner” … as if you weren’t before. We all go through cycles and changes through the years – having a baby obviously being a big one! – but just like having to take time off of running for any other health reason, it is all about working our way back slowly and telling those voices of doubt to STFU! 🙂

  4. Hard work does pay off! And I totally understand what you mean by ‘feeling like a runner’. Those are the best runs when you feel like you can run and run and run, or should I say float? Because that’s exactly how I feel on those great days! xoxo

  5. That’s awesome that you’re finally starting to feel the results. Coming back so quickly post-baby and getting back into training always takes a while to feel “like a runner” again. Probably because our bodies go through so much change, some that stays permanent even after!

  6. kudos to you for sticking through the hard times and continuing to (literally) put one foot in front of the other and push through to your sweet spot again. marathon training is tough regardless, and the fact that you had a baby under a year ago and signed up for two is incredible. go you. 🙂

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