Curro Ergo Sum

Or: I run; therefore, I am.

Wow.  Just two lines into my post and I've done a trifecta geek-out of using Latin, referencing Descartes' famous quote "Cogito Ergo Sum" (I think therefore I am), and then changing the quote to fit my own needs.  With my apologies and thanks to Mr. Descartes, I can begin this post.

Philadelphia Rock N' Roll Half Marathon 2012: 1:57:15 (new PR!)
I have written a bit here on the blog about my love of running -- here and here and here.  One thing I love about running is the goal is ever-changing.  You can always try to beat your fastest and best time.  You can never fully master the sport - there is always a new race, a new day, a new time to beat.  And it's always a race against yourself rather than a race against others.  I started my life as a runner when I was a college freshman, almost 20 years ago.  I came home from college and decided I would try running.  I started slowly: running a bit, walking a bit, running a bit, walking a bit and gradually increased the running intervals.  This was before the days of fancy GPS watches, so I would drive my route and figure out the mile marks.  I remember the day I ran a full mile.  Then two.  By the end of the summer, I was up to 4 mile runs and I could not imagine running any farther, even though I loved it.  I kept running from that point on, with the inevitable ebbs and flows in activity, until this day. Since that time, I have run countless races: 5Ks, 10Ks, 5 milers, half marathons and one full marathon.

Running has been a constant in my life.  Through translating Latin in college, law school, my first years as an attorney, a trial where I lived in a hotel two hours from home for six months, two children, several houses, running has been there for me.  And as I go through this current major change in my life, it is here for me now.  Running is not something that I do -- running is who I am.  Running reminds me that I am strong, that I am safe and that I am going to be OK.  Running is a tangible reminder that I can do anything, and it will all be OK.  Even after a horrible run where nothing goes right, there is always tomorrow: a new chance for a new day, a new run.

This year has been a tough one, to say the least.  Three things have been instrumental in my not losing it: (1) my children; (2) the love and support of my friends and family; and (3) running.  Running has, quite literally, saved my life.  I started doing triathlons this year too - it started with a sprint triathlon in May (350 meter swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 mile run).  I loved it so much, I did another.  And then I pushed myself to train all summer for an Olympic-distance triathlon in September (1/2 mile swim, 40 mile bike, 6.2 mile run).  I registered for, and completed, more races and triathlons this year to count.  I think some of my friends think I may have lost my mind a little, but frankly, I cannot agree.  Races, unlike just heading out for a casual run or swim or bike ride, give a rush that is simply unequaled.  To be around other athletes of all abilities and know that we are all doing the same thing with totally different goals ... it's inspiring.  I can feed off of that positive, euphoric energy for days.  It is infectious -- even after a race where I do not perform as I hoped, I am always happy and feel accomplished when I cross that finish line.

All of the above is my love letter to running.  There are moments when I hate it -- like when I am about 7 miles into a 16 mile run and I am tired.  Or when the air is humid and I can't breathe right, which affects everything and not in a good way.  Or when it is blazing hot or pouring rain or dark and the last thing I want to do is run ... I still run.  And I still love it.

I am running the Philly marathon on Sunday.  I have a time goal (of course I do!) of running it under 4 hours.  But the true goal of the race for me is to have fun, stay in it mile-by-mile and let my body lead the way.  I will be sure to post a recap of the race next week.  One thing that I am doing is dedicating certain miles of the run to particular people in my life.  I am hopeful that doing so will give me the push in those rough miles at the end, because by personalizing the fight, I might be more inspired to keep going and keep running and stay strong.

Along those lines, there was a moment recently when I was running strong - my body and breathing were totally in sync and I was really moving fast.  It was a gorgeous Fall morning: not too warm, not too cool, not too dark. I thought to myself, "thank you legs and thank you lungs.  You are so strong.  Heart, you will follow."  It will - maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will.  And in the meantime, I will keep on running.

See you swoon,

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