There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel

I have been walking on sunshine since my marathon… and even though it’s been 3 weeks it’s hard to believe it really happened. I have one of those Timex stick-on fake digital watches in my fridge that says 3:27:44; whenever I see it, I think someone must have done that. Not me.
I am not sure why I never give myself any kind of credit as a runner, but it is what it is.
I was forced to stop saying I was slow and not a good runner since I was BQing in every marathon. I stopped saying “no, really, I am really really slow” because people would get upset, but I never really moved on from that mentality. I think it’s because I am in this for what it brings into my life and I don’t want to risk losing any of it, getting trapped looking at numbers.
So, it’s quite surprising what is happening now. Sunday morning, I caught myself going back to look at my marathon splits, after 3 weeks. They are just so beautiful. And I still have no clue how I managed to do it. And, on the other hand, it all feels so normal now. It is very confusing. Could it be? Could I really by ok with the runner I’ve become? Maybe I can actually care a bit about being a “faster” runner and still keep the FUN part going? Can I really be this?
Last week, I only managed two runs. A 2-mile hill rep run, and a 3-mile hill sprints (lack of time!) so by Saturday I was ready to go! I did the unthinkable: Mile reps + longish run + by myself + on the briddle path. I don’t usually run by myself on the weekends, but had a lot of time constraints so I had no choice: added the mile reps to keep it interesting. Managed 3 miles at 5K pace, on dirt, which makes them a bit slower, so… GREAT. I added a few hilly loops to get to 9 and felt GREAT. Really? Is this what being in shape is like? I felt SO fantastic. Recovered from a marathon where I threw it all in, in 3 weeks, another PR. And I can now keep my stride fluid, and manage a 195 cadence on my slow runs… It’s really all clicking.
After years and years of being constantly injured, catching up, messed up with some broken bone(s) or something, this is completely strange to me, and I hope you can understand why it’s so amazing, and confusing, and exciting, and not me. I am trying to embrace this new phase, and it’s quite easy because the sky is the limit, but again, SO foreign to me.

There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel

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