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The Abundant Runner

Day 11, July18th

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I took off for my run this morning--an easy three miles. It was early and already very hot. It felt like a Johnny Cash kind of Monday. I would not call Johnny Cash a popular pick for a running playlist, but I was digging it on Sunday and the hot, thick Monday morning seemed to call for it again.

I was really looking forward to the run. I didn't think I'm going to go get my run done before work--I thought I want to go out for a run. It may sound subtle but it's kind of big thing, and I noted it.

My first two miles were kind of speedy for me as of late. I threw the easy run out the window and just listened to Johnny and enjoyed the feeling of running. By the end of mile two I was kind of fading, so I turned Johnny Cash off and settled back in to an easy run. I was thinking about the ultra runner, Courtney Dauwalter, because I had been following her 100 mile race over the weekend. She's got the best vibe and the best attitude. There is an ease with which she approaches running that I am fascinated by. I kept her front of mind when I ran my 24 hour race. I might not get the results that she does, but I can behave like she does.

Then I started thinking about John Bingham, the author of the quote on the calendar page above. Long story short, John Bingham was an overweight, middle aged smoker who discovered running and it changed his life. He started writing about it and eventually wrote a number of best sellers and had a column in Runners World Magazine. He was never an elite runner, in fact his nickname is the penguin because of his "speed", but he made a career from running at the start of the second half of his life. For obvious reasons I really identify with him.

I was lost in thought when my watch buzzed. My workout ended and I looked at my time and distance: 4+ miles at a 5:16 per mile pace. Wait...WHAT???!!? That's half the pace of my first mile! My GPS had gone bonkers. I went inside and uploaded the data from my watch to Strava (it's a fitness App) to see what it looked like to have my run recorded under my name at a 5:16 pace. And it was funny--when I saw that out-of-reach data that was supposedly my run it just didn't matter--I didn't wish that it was my actual time. I liked my run, as is. All of a sudden I had some kind of inexplicable understanding and acceptance of myself as a runner. And not just that, but I felt like I was a part of the community of runners, all of them--Courtney Dauwalter, John Bingham, and every runner I passed and waved to this morning. My whole life I have been fighting my way out of a scarcity mindset, and it shows up in running for me in spades. And I think it's holding me back. I think it's holding my potential back.

It's not about not having goals or dreams or no longer working hard, but maybe it's about backing way up and taking a new approach to the whole thing. "The joy is in the act of running and in the journey..." That's an abundant thought. That's Courtney Dauwalter. And it just might be a clue for my next era of running.

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