Even before I became a runner, running was a part of my family’s life. I can remember early Sunday mornings when my dad would return home from his weekend 12-mile run. My sisters’ and I would greet him with a tall glass of iced tea. We would stand back and wait for him to finish the glass in one gulp, and then give us the “Lipton Iced Tea, ‘Ahhhhhh!'” To me, that “Ah” was the reward for hard work.
When I think about all the years of running I’ve logged, I realize there have been different seasons in my life that have allowed for various levels of effort. Through it all, though, there has been a certain satisfaction that is the natural result of hard work. After I got married and we had our first two children, I enjoyed racing and pushing myself. I had the benefit of youth on my side (although I know I didn’t truly appreciate it then), and could run a lot of miles pushing a baby jogger. Running mostly 10Ks, I was able to train hard and I even squeezed out a sub 40-minute 10K for a personal best. I would often meet a friend of mine, Greg, at a track near the hospital where he worked, to do interval training. I recall one workout he named “Zeus” after doing it with a man that was more like a Greek god than a human! Those days I could manage tough workouts without feeling totally zapped of my energy the rest of the day. [Read more…]