Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Run Because I Am I Am Because I Run (Part 2)

I am a runner because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.

I run because I can do it well. Or at least I used to be able to do it well.

As a young boy and teenager running became my sport. I did not have the bulk or physical strength to play football or rugby competitively and my hand eye coordination skills were not above average, thus most alternative sports were excluded.

Growing up in a small town, from working class parents, it was always my necessity to contribute to the family. My part time employment as a schoolboy included, before and after school, delivering milk in the mornings and newspapers in the evenings. This was always completed on the run and helped to develop the base of stamina that kick started my running capability and helped forge me into a slight, but strong, individual who had stamina to outlast the majority. It also helped me escape retribution from bigger boys who did not take kindly to my sometimes audacious wit.

I retired my running shoes at around the age of 17. The distraction of growing up, combined with the eventuality of employment that included Saturdays, finally ended my availability to compete.

After a gap of over 30 years, a return to running in the autumn of 2007 was motivated by a need to extend the progress and the change in my body that moderate exercise had begun. The need to engage in a challenge, a lifelong ambition to one day run a marathon, was all it required to engage me. After battling through a 16 week training regime over the winter months I arrived at the start line of the Go St Louis Marathon on 6th April 2008 and after successfully completing my first marathon I declared myself a runner again.

Now “I run because I am I am because I run”. I love the solitude of training, the personal challenge of pushing myself to the limit, the reward of hard work and the exhilaration of competition. Every time I put on my running shoes I am in competition with myself.

The discipline required to prepare for an event like the marathon is good for the mind, good for the soul and also good for the waist line.

Flush with the success of getting fit, completing a marathon and improving my running performance through this summer I aim to run my second marathon on September 14th 2008, the Lewis and Clark Marathon. This time it won’t be about getting across the finish line, it will be about how fast I can run. It is a relatively flat course and with fair weather on the day my aim is to run below 3:00:00.

I have just finished my biggest week in training, a 73 mile week. With 6 weeks to go I am on track and confident of challenging that 3:00:00 goal.

I know now I will run for the remainder of my life simply because “I run because I am I am because I run”

David Carruthers August 2008.

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