How did I get this fast?

run trainingI should be slower. And happy just to be running. And it’s bad for your knees. And blah, blah, blah. I have no idea why I have a new, faster speed, or what coaxed it out of me. I didn’t intend to be setting new personal pace records at (gasp inserted here) 51 years old. I have no new biomechanicals that I unleashed.

What I do have is a new definition of limitations. While they once were set by perceived norms, they are now defined by a combination of physical and mental facets. Perhaps it comes with maturation.  Perhaps it comes when you let go of restrictions. Or maybe it’s just about granting yourself permission to succeed even if you feel a little silly putting yourself out there.

To put things in perspective, I’ve always been an adequate runner. Complete, not compete. Set attainable goals. And it’s been a blast running and playing in that environment after a 20 year racquetball era. (Still working on the tennis transition...) Endorphins flow no matter the pace, friends gather no matter the outcome, and a participation ribbon felt like Gold at the finish line of every half marathon I’ve completed.

So, why am I suddenly faster? Why am I able to push further and still walk the following morning? Of course, a more consistent training program has helped. More good habit days than bad make for a better runner (or fill in the blank for any personal goal). But I truly believe that I have simply allowed myself to go faster. When those quad muscles quiver, I know I’m not going to fall over. (Well, I actually did fall over one time, but I just got back up, curtsied for the small crowd, picked the gravel out of my knee, and finished the job.) Once upon a time, I would have been mortified with such a public performance. Now, I share it on facebook with my runner friends, complete with ugly Scene of the Fall photos.

All this to say, I’m not looking for a particular podium finish. I’m not looking for the medal or the rose bouquet. I’m looking to see where this mind and body are willing to take me.