Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Hi, I am a long distance runner

2017 started with a new job for me; same company but new position and last week I found myself in a conference room with 20 new faces.  I felt "new", like the new kid in school that just moved from Wisconsin.  And even though I am very happy with what has happened with my career (For HE who promised is faithful....) and I like my new boss and manager I still felt like the newbie - and that's when I was asked to introduce myself 😔

Ya know; sometimes I think about how I would introduce myself to strangers and it always sounds so much cooler in my head - I would tell them how I got my unique name, I would tell how I have backpacked into Israel, rode Camels in Jordan, swan with sharks, been married 13 years, have a little boy and I would tell them of the grace I have been given so freely and about that time in high school I snuck onto the Our Lady Peace tour bus with Leah.  In my head I can quite easily make myself seem cooler than I did last week in a room full of new colleagues. 

So I said the basics - I said I have been with the company for 8 years, have done this, this and this job, blah, blah blah and I was just about to say something "cool" about myself but I actually stopped and said nothing else. 

And you know what I was going to say?

I was going to say I was a long distance runner - when my new manager asked me to tell the team about myself that is what I thought of first and it was on the tip of my tongue when I shut my mouth instead.

Because after 5 years of running, more 5k and 10k runs than I can count, 6 Half Marathons and 1 32km reduced Marathon I still don't consider myself a runner. (trust me even as I type this I know how silly it sounds)

I have been thinking about that since last week and am surprised that after all these years and all the KM's I still struggle to consider myself a "real" runner.  Because I have allowed society/friends/social media dictate to me what a real runner is.  I had decided in my mind that I can only be a "real" runner if I qualify for Boston; run negative splits, pace an 8 minute mile and win races.

Well friends; chances are none of those things will happen - and I will be humbled in surprise if I successfully cross the finish line of the Cincinnati Marathon this May.  But that shouldn't allow me to discount myself as a non runner - especially when I am the only one telling myself that lie.  So I decided I needed to pull up my (compression) socks and stop acting like a non-runner.  I need to stop downplaying the hard work I put into training and stop disbelieving in myself as a runner.

And that, is when God sent me a friendly push - it was no bouncy ball this time.  It came in the form of an email......and a sponsorship.

Nuun ; the #1 selling sports drink tab - and my go-to recovery drink after a long run- offered me a position as one of their Nuun Ambassador athletes.  Well, let me tell you - THIS makes me feel like a runner, THIS makes me feel like an athlete and it was the most perfectly God-timed encouragement and I start increasing my long runs in preparation for the Cincinnati Marathon.

When I started running my trainer told me it would be 80% mental and I remember thinking she had to be wrong; how could something so physical like long distance running actually be a mental challenge as well?!?! Boy, was I wrong - the mental aspect of running is by far the biggest challenge for me, and as you can clearly tell by this blog I have to work hard to maintain a strong mentality with my training.

So now I move forward, into training for a Marathon and Two Half Marathon's this year, into a new team at work and a new Team of Nuun Athletes.

Here's to 2017.


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