Monday, February 27, 2006

Athlete

Today my new Runner's World arrived in the post. I eagerly got it out of the plastic bag and devoured it, cover to cover. I looked at the adverts for fancy bits of running kit, and I scoured the events listing to see if there was anything I fancied.

I read articles and they made sense to me. It wasn't like looking into another world, filled with theories I don't understand. I knew what they were talking about, with tapers, and tempo runs, and carb loading, and rehydration. And tight hamstrings too (oh, the tight hamstrings. I've been feeling those today!)

Every time I finish a race I realise how much more of a runner I've become. Not just someone who runs sometimes, but a proper runner. An athlete. I realise the things I've given up or moved around in my life to fit running in. The Saturday nights when I don't drink because I've got a long run planned for the next day. The previously sacred rugby matches that go head to head with a run I fancy and lose.

I can see it in my body too. Of course yesterday I was far too busy concentrating on my own race than other people's thighs, but I couldn't fail to notice that I fit in. My body doesn't stand out as being ludicrously badly shaped for running. Today on the cross trainer doing a low impact warm up for a good stretching session I actually watched myself in the mirror and realised how little jiggle there is now, and how streamlines (comparatively) I look.

And then I got the results of the race through. Again, the details are on BerlinBlog, but I realised that I'm actually quite good at this. I've been running for less than a year and much of that was spent losing the weight before really starting to train in earnest (which I'd probably put at some point between my first 10k in September and my second in November). And I can still post a highly creditable time for my longest run ever.

I'll never be an elite athlete, but I'm starting to believe that I can be fairly decent at this running lark. Improbable as it would have sounded this time last year, I can be, and am, an athlete.

1 Comments:

Blogger Portuguese Washwoman said...

I feel exactly this sense of awe and pride about my running as well, and lately taking off extra weight has had more to do with how it will help my running than anything else. That feels like a healthy mind change and I like that. Congrats to you. :)

2:25 PM  

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