Perhaps the most annoying thing I hear from others is how NATURALLY talented I am. I feel like it discounts any work I have done to get where I am now. The thing is, I dont even consider myself as talented. Shalane, Meb, Rita, Geoffrey...that right there is talent. Shalane came from talented marathoning parents, where she grew up with the Sunday Church of the Long Run. While they may have 26.2 running in their veins, they work hard every day. They didnt just wake up one day with the ability to hold a 5min mile pace. They could have very easily taken natural ability and turned it into Sundays at the Golden Corral.
I grew up with old fashioned parents. They didnt care for me to do any sports because it was too boyish. Instead of soccer or t-ball, I took ballet and played with my barbie dolls. Secretly, I longed for tree climbing, lincoln logs and a train set. I taught myself to swim at the age of ten and they never pushed me to stick with anything. They were supportive of my quitting always. Their little girl shouldnt have to push that hard. When I started cheering in highschool, my mom hated how muscular my quads were getting (too masculine in her opinion). I was actually a terrible dancer, a chicken shit gymnast and I never was good enough for the nationals team when I cheered. I quit all three.
When I began running, it was always followed by concern for my knees and whether or not I was doing too much. I always enjoyed the running part during conditioning at practice, everyone else hated it. I did a few races in my early 20s, but I never quite took it too seriously. I ran when I felt the need and easily would go months without it.
Girls should wear heels and dresses not Newtons, tech tees and dri fit shorts. I think my mother still shakes her head at her 34 year old daughter in sweats, tank top and the long curly hair up in a bun.
Standing at 4'9" and previously being very over weight, I couldnt be further from natural running ability. I think one of my strides equals 4 of a tall runner. Gazelle I am not.
Looking at my race times over the last two years, people automatically think I train at some impressive paces and live a life of negative splits. That couldn't be further from the truth. I train slow, but I do train a lot. I dont wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to run. I get in massive funks too. Right now I'm battling a 3 month funk. I procrastinate about getting out the door, but the funk never wins. I don't gallop down the street like a runner in a Nike commercial, Im actually struggling with aches both mental and physical. Im out there everyday though, cause I know what I love will come back again eventually...it always does.
Gazelle I am not.
I wasnt molded as a kid to be self motivating or shown what hard work would get me. I wasnt blessed with long beautiful runner legs or sporty parents. I don't wake up at 4am ready to take on the day (coffee is amazing FYI). I did it all on my own. Even when I hate it, I go back to that place in my head that holds amazing memories of running adventures. I remember that this rough training run will get me yet another amazing memory. Ive worked my way up to where I am now as a runner and I continue to do so every single day. Too many people assume its been so easy for me cause I was born with it. The only thing I was born with was heart....but so were you.
Gazelle I am not!
My first steps as a baby according to my parents was actually a run. At 5yrs old my dad took me to the NYC Marathon, but truth be told I had no idea why people were running down the street. All this was foreshadowing for what was to be a life of running almost 30 years later. "If opportunity doesnt knock...build a door."