In the past two years, I’ve moved, worked through personal issues, my teenagers changed sports, and we adopted a dog. My weekly mileage plunged from high 40s to 10. Yes, 10 measly miles, and that’s an up week.
Our new neighborhood is flatter, 25-30 minutes farther from my run group who I haven’t seen in a year, hotter, and drier. From a sweet low of 112 lbs., I’m now nearly 140. From fitting my daughter’s jeans to not even fitting into my fat pants. No more regular runs, running get-togethers, or monthly races.
I drive much more for my younger daughter’s sports practice and my Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP) job. In traffic, it takes an hour to get home. Fortunately, our family’s self-employed/homeschooling schedule is still only half as busy as most Oahu residents.
“The road and the mountains aren’t going anywhere” has always been my philosophy to keep run-life balance—not getting upset when family commitments or injury keep me from a race. I still like getting out with the dog and jogging hills (not a sprinter), but running is not the only place I find my zen now.
I write. First for local magazines, then for Medium, Odyssey, and now my blog. Like some runners, I’m a lapsed writer in a decades-long dry spell. Then, my friend, a golfer with a running problem started writing for the local sports magazine and I was inspired. I jumped in.
Now, pen and paper go everywhere with me, and I fidget when I forget my writing stuff (like when I used to knit non-stop). Challenging and addicting, writing allows me to indulge in my favorite things—reading, learning, and connecting.
The mountain isn’t going anywhere
I don’t mind running less right now because I know I’ll return when I need it.
So, am I still a runner? How many weekly miles makes a runner?
I wish four hilly miles several times a week added up to a higher mileage.
I wish the dog wouldn’t plant her butt down every time she wanted to head back.
I wish my new neighborhood was as hilly and free of major intersections as my old one.
But it is what it is.
I don’t really care that I don’t run as much, only that it feels right when I do—hot, hilly, with dog, whatevah.
A new runner is still a runner. A slow runner is still a runner. I’m still a runner.
How about you?
We are what we do. What are you?
Links & References
Hawaii Sport. https://issuu.com/hawaiisportmag
Lau, Wendi. (2018, Fall). Safe Hiking with Your Dog. Island Dog, 11 (3), 55. https://issuu.com/islanddogmagazine/docs/island_dog_magazine_fall_2018
Lau, Wendi. “Thankful for Opportunity.” Thought Ripples By Wendi, 10 July 2019. https://thoughtripplesbywendi.com/2019/07/10/thankful-for-opportunity/
Muramoto, Glen. Writer and contributor to Hawaii Sport magazine. Marathoner. Golfer.
Thought Ripples By Wendi. https://thoughtripplesbywendi.com/