One Mile at a Time

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“One Mile at a Time”

by Patrick Reed

Shall I rename this blog “One mile at a time”? Perhaps…

I remember having read helpful hints about naming one’s blog or website — and a great no-no is walling yourself in. The more you define the details of your message, the more restricted you become. With my Run5kaday mantra and title and motto all rolled into one, I became locked into the “Gotta run my 5k today, tomorrow and every day for eternity” mentality.

Truth is, though, us runners — though defined particularly by our penchant for clocking mile after mile on the morning roads, lap after lap on the sun-lit track, and kilometers across any plot of dirt that lays in our path – us runners are actually “runners” by virtue of a mindset more than what it is that we actually do. After all, if the act of running were what defined us, what of the injured runner. Is she no longer one of us? On the contrary, the injured among us may indeed be more wholly us. I am reminded of the refrain I pump into my kids on the soccer field day after day right now — in these blissful eternal seasons of their youth: “It is not winning that matters, but the will to win!”

And so it is with us harriers – and we know who we are. We are runners because running is our passion. A desire to run wells up in us incessantly and when we find ourselves on roads and fields connecting stride after stride with our rhythmic breathing, then we feel perhaps most fully alive. We are runners because we want  to run.

And so I come around the bend in this thought, as if careening with momentum around the final corner on the beloved track oval. Though I propose 5kaday, and though for over 3 years I once ran 5kaday, and though for the balance of 2013 I completed at least 5kaday, I find myself in that uncomfortable predicament of not being able to complete my 5kaday as I begin this new year.

As a result, I am on a new running streak, now 6 days old, yet my goal is changed to run at least 1 mile each day. On January 1, when I set out for my first 8 minute traipse, I laced my shoes smiling, considering that my workout could hardly count as a workout — that lacing up my shoes and sipping my coffee, changing my key from keychain to pocket, and wiring up my iPhone to pump in my latest audible novel — all of these rituals would eclipse much more time than the run itself. And yet, 8 minutes did I run. And sweatily — just a hint of breathing and perspiration — I stepped out of the running life minutes after entering and chalked up my first run in my new streak. Best of all, I was uninjured.

For it is injury which has hampered me and which has me ambulating and conniving and spinning my running passion. Nevertheless, I am convinced that my will to run, though it returns but a pittance of a distance run today, will tomorrow include once again monumental distances that dreams are made of.

Is a mile far enough? You bet. Get out and run today!

Best!

~Coach Reed

image credit: music.ousd

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