Sometimes it's easy to forget how far I've come.
I see people I know online who run all the miles. I see people progress. I see people go from not running at all to running twice as far as I do at half the pace in just a few weeks.
There are days when it's easy to wonder why I bother. Why spend money on the second pair of new running shoes this summer when I'm not good at it? Why sign up for races if I'm going to be at the back of the pack? Why keep doing it if I'm not very "good" at it and I have no desire to ever to run a marathon? When people find out I run, I quickly jump in and say I don't run very far or very fast. I get defensive before they can dismiss me as not being a "real runner".
All these thoughts were swirling through my head this morning when I went out for my run. I haven't run a lot in the last six weeks and I'm supposed to start 10k training next week. The plan was to continue to run between the Canada Day 5k and the beginning of 10k training. I was going to cross-train and keep up my general fitness. Between eye surgery, running shoe issues, two trips, and a personal meltdown, I didn't have it in me to run.
Today I stopped the train of negative thoughts, took a deep breath, and remembered that other people do not define my progress and successes. Only I can do that.
I remembered in the spring I had a hard time running a specific stretch of the trail without a break. And how it felt so amazing when I could run a full length of the trail. And then how it felt when I could run the full length and back. I remember how it felt to run farther on the next trail than I ever had before. I remembered how it felt to run my fastest kilometre, even if I couldn't really breath at the end of it (but I also didn't give myself an asthma attack doing it).
I reminded myself that I run because I can. Most of the time I enjoy it. (Bad runs happen. They just do.) I like the way it makes me feel. I am stronger when I run. My head is clearer. I can feel the tension in my shoulders slip away as I put one foot in front of the other. When I'm not comparing myself to others and diminishing myself running makes me feel good about me.
And that's enough.