I have something positive to report. I am still a runner. It's not over yet.
For the past several months, I thought I was cooked. Every run started with an unrealistic effort, just to ramp up to jogging pace. I would struggle for a mile, then expire and walk back.
This was part mind, part body. There were some medical issues I needed to address. But the biggest part was in my head.
I parked the 10 milers and relegated myself to 6 a day. That was a standard for many years in the 1980's and 1990's. Have to build back from zero.
So I'm back in Florence now. Was here four years ago so it didn't take long to recreate my running loops. Did a night run sponsored by the local running store and also ran the big 10K last Sunday. That went well, I laid down a blazing 8:54 in the last mile.
The strongest element of my Christian faith is a thanksgiving that washes over me when I believe God is giving me a gift. I truly thought He nicked me and took running for good. But the other night, as I was in queue to start the night run, a wave of emotion washed over me. I was still a runner. Thank you Lord. I'm still in the club.
Much of my life is lived alone. Running has been my identity for over 30 years. During travels around the globe, my memories are built on run loops. So here I am again, in Italy, adhering to the running identity. My early morning runs, slow but sure.
So often, simple pleasures are the best. I am a runner. It is good.