I wish I could write to myself, 6 months ago. I really wish I could. You see, at the beginning of summer, here I was, ‘a runner’…. but I had only just started running again after what felt like forever (injury), and I was met by my worse fears…. I had becomee slower….But I kept on running, disheartened by the mile times, but strong in the knowledge that I had to get back, so I kept pushing on.
You see I wish I could tell myself… that girl desperately trying to get back to where she was, that I would get there. I remember each run pushing myself, only to later chill again because it just hurt too much, it was a sad reality.
In particular I remember going on runs with my running partner and feeling ashamed of what had happened to my running, I was ashamed that it wasn’t as easy for me to be what I once was. I never thought I would make it back.
But I continued to run, run in the hope that it would come back to me, placed all the miles in, ran at various places around the world. Ran in the day, sometimes at night, cross trained, focused on the good.
But the whole time I was hoping that the speed would be back to me for my second half marathon, september. It did not come back, yes, I ran the first half of the race pretty impressively for what I had been running at, but I was still behind where I was. This race gave me the courage to start speeding up again, and I feebly hoped that maybe the speed would be back my half marathon number 3, a month later. The speed did creep up in that month, mostly due to the fact that I started to believe I was faster, I was as good as I once was… but that race was a massive fail.
But that hard hard half marathon is what brought me to where I am now. As soon as that was over, its like my speed crept right back in, all the speed work I had done in preparation came into place, and suddenly I was facing numbers I used to see.
Now that is 3 months ago, and I still cherish my speed. I keep assuming that I’m going to be slow again soon. Yet I keep on getting personal bests - I think its safe to assume I am back.
So to that Charley, that Charley that ran all summer long haunted by the numbers that used to pop up on her screen, the one that pushed up hills, that ran through villages, that huffed and puffed her way round - THANKYOU. You did it, all of that was worth it - I am stronger and faster now thanks to you - and mentally I am more appreciative of every run and every mile.
So I say this to all of those of you who are like me in the summer, putting in the miles, frustrated by the times, trying to be more than you are. Be patient, it will come. Run some races, push yourself, show your mind that it cannot control you.
NEVER set your own limits - because what could be waiting is so much more. You could be capable of so much more if only you let yourself.
Charley, we did it, we are back. And now we are ready for a whole new adventure.