After my marathon residue wore off, I had one goal in mind. I wanted to run my next marathon feeling strong. I wanted to run my next marathon focused. I wanted a purposeful run. I wanted a faster run, not for the time on the clock or the pace on my watch, but for me. Perhaps this is what I need in my life just as much as I want it in my running.
Focus. Strength. Purpose.
One of my co-workers asked me why I wanted to get faster the other day. I didn’t know how to respond. I just do. As I digested his question, I realized that wanting to get faster in running is no different than wanting to progress in life. A golfer hopes to hit the ball further with more accuracy (I think? I don’t golf!). A chef hopes to create a wonderful new dish with new flavors and a wonderful balance. A student hopes to learn more and to produce quality work. Wanting to run faster and wanting to be a more successful runner is all about becoming a better me.
In order to run faster, I know I need more intentional running. I need to let go of the comfort runs that have monopolized my weekly schedule and my long runs. It is time to push.
When you set an intention for yourself, it finds you. I have said those words so many times this year.
A friend from the years I lived in Cuba emailed me. He offered to contact a running coach with a seriously impressive resume he knows in the area to ask about speed workouts (seriously impressive – he coaches a runner who ran in the 2012 Olympic trials. He coaches women who all run sub 3 marathons). The coach emailed me. We chatted, and he offered to meet me for a gait/arm analysis. On Wednesday I meet him. I ran 8 miles while he biked beside me. The feedback I received was amazing. Right now I’m working on my arm positioning and intentionally pushing off with my foot. I also like to lead with my hips. I need to pull my pelvic back. My upper body is too rigid. There was good feedback too, but right now I want to absorb everything I can learn. I want fine tuning. This running coach has a wealth of knowledge. The information he shared seems like common sense yet I had never thought about any of it.
When he offered to work with me, I didn’t have to think twice. There are some things in life you should just say yes too. I’m going to start working with him on a scaled back version through the summer and then jump in full force for training for the Richmond Marathon. I’ve got big things planned for myself. I’ve got big dreams. I don’t expect my new coach to work miracles, but I know it will bring the focus, strength and purpose to my runs. I know he will help bring out the best in me.
How I run is either a reflection of where I am at in my life or it spills over into every aspect of my life. I’m not sure which one is correct. Either one, running is always a reflection of my living. Intentional running means intentional living for me. Run with focus, strength and purpose means living with focus, strength and purpose.
This journey always amazes me…