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I am still running.  Since my last post I have participated in another 5k run for charity, but this time with my husband and daughter.  My running seems to be contagious around here.  He pushed our little one in the jogging stroller and ran his own race.  He does about 8-9 minute miles while I am now finally running 12 minute miles.  I have found, and I don’t know why this seems surprising to me, that the only way to get better is to keep running! Duh, right?  But, I was reading everything I could get my hands on about running, talking to fellow runners, trying everything I could that I thought would help me become a better runner.  But, today I had an a-ha moment.

The days are getting shorter and my opportunities to run outside are beginning to get fewer.  I had to run the treadmill the other night.  I have to say I was dreading it.. and even referring to is as the “dreadmill.”  But, I also wanted to get my run in regardless of how I do it, so off to the gym I went.  It felt so easy this time!  I have been running outside all summer and my level of fitness is getting better because of it.  My run on the treadmill felt so comfortable I ran for almost an hour non-stop.  I knew without a doubt how much I have improved.  Also, I felt less stress on my legs and joints which I have to admit is nice a change once in a while on the body.  My legs weren’t too bad and a muscle in my calf that has been bothering me for at least a month seems better.  When I talked about my run to my co-worker afterwards she pointed out to me that was the first time she ever heard me refer to my run as, “easy.”  Nice observation!    It did feel easy and comfortable!  I am a tad slower though on the treadmill.

This morning when I went for my run outside I felt like I was running slowly.  I like to take it easy on my first mile and warm up.  In my opinion I was running more slowly than I usually do, until I heard my app tell me when I reached my first mile I did it in 12.10 minutes.  Now, I understand that is slow to most runners, but to me… it’s a huge improvement!  I started out at 15 minute miles.  The idea that now a 12 minute mile is me warming up is just foreign still to me.  That is when I had my a-ha moment-  I am going to improve the more I keep running!  Sure, there are little things that help, but there isn’t any secret someone can teach you or tell you.  I just have to keep running. Period.  Which leads me to my next thought…

The fact that I have to continue to run to improve is what I love about running!  It’s not a class a person can take on Wednesday’s from 6-7 pm.  It’s a lifestyle, its a commitment, its something that becomes a part of you.  Only another runner can understand this.  I have a few friends who have tried taking it up since seeing my posts.  I think that few people stick with it.  It takes a certain level of dedication that not everyone is willing to give.  This is why I love running.  Yes, someone who doesn’t run regularly can go out and possibly run 5 or 6 miles first time out.  But, will they stick with it?  Will they do it next week?  Most don’t.  That’s why I love running.