Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Patience

There's a great quote in this month's issue of Runner's World:
"It takes patience to become the best runner you can be. Top athletes realize that running is a long-term sport. It is set up for people who value delayed gratification and who like hard-earned success." - Anthony Famiglietti (two-time Olympian & six-time national champion)
This quote really hit home and I think a lot of runners can relate to it. Running does take a special kind of patience. A few definitions of the word include:

1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

At one time or another, most runners will deal with pain, misfortune and annoyance of some type. We will grow restless over a nagging injury or the inability to break that time barrier that has been haunting us. But a runner who loves to run will want to be able to do it forever. Will wish that one day, they'll be lining up at the start of a race with people 40 or 50 years younger than them.

Running is a lifetime sport. It is something that, if done right, and with respect, can be done long into life. I don't know what lies ahead of me in life, but I do know that now that I have tasted the freedom, joy and sense of accomplishment that running has gifted me with, I know that I want to do run forever. Even though I have only run a few times this year due to injury, I have been gathering all the patience I have within me (and trying to acquire more each day) in order to make a stronger comeback. Last night I sat on the couch, watching TV with Woody and reading RW when out of no where I proclaimed to Woody (and myself) "I just want to race again! I just want to run again!" As much as I want to run, I have to hold myself back, be patient, and build slowly. My heart may not want to admit it, but my mind is convinced.

There are some super runners out there who seem to be able to run long and hard almost every day of the week. But for us mortals, that just isn't possible. Our muscles with ache and our bodies grow tired. And even though we love running, our minds may even check out every once in a while. If you push to hard, and get too restless, there is the danger of going too far and losing the precious gift we have of the ability to run. It may take a little longer than we'd prefer to hit that PR or to be able to a certain distance, but running is a gift. The freedom it allows us is a gift. Our responsibility is to be patient, listen to our bodies and give it what it needs to keep us running as long as possible. In the end, isn't that the most important thing? To keep this love affair with running going as long as we can?

Are you a patient runner?
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workout stats -
17miles bike
3x10 tricep extensions
3x10 tricep kickbacks
3x10 tricep dips
3x10 cable push downs
3x10 weighted side bends
stretching

11 comments:

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

Great post! In my past life I always went into running with a very impatient attitude...and I hated it, not surprisingly! Now I've found that when I'm patient with the process - and make a real effort to listen to my body - that's when true pleasure and enjoyment can be found.

Robyn @ WannabeWriterRunner said...

I'm trying to be patient! I was soooo tempted to run this morning against my physical therapist's recommendation and finally decided rushing into it wasn't worth it. I'll tell you, I'm no good at this patience thing.

threemonthsblog said...

I think if you can have patience while running (and during other forms of exercise), you benefit more from it, and it tends to be more enjoyable!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

great post! I am trying, so hard to be a patient runner. Having also only run a fraction of what I had hoped this year due to injury and life in general, I am struggling. Patience is not one of my strong points, lol!!

abbi said...

great post...I try to be patient but it is SOOO HARD!! I know the importance of patience though, it's the only way to make it lifelong.

misszippy said...

Absolutely! Very well said and pat yourself on the back for realizing it and for being patient.

Fit Chick in the City said...

Great quote. I don't think I'm a patient runner.

Kiesha said...

I'm trying to be more patient. I've done pretty good this running season I think. Recently I felt like my hamstrings were so tight that if I were for some reason to take a big stride I would pull a muscle. So I've only ran twice in the last 10 days but now I'm feeling fantastic and ready to go. In my younger days I probably would've kept running to just show how tough I was and then been out for a month nursing an injury. Great post!

Tricia said...

loved this

The Laminator said...

I'm trying so hard to be a patient runner! All I know is that I'm more patient than I was last year and the year before. Yes, it's good to take a long range view of running because we all want to be able to run for the rest of our lives. Good post!

ajh said...

Good for you for being patient! Beautiful header!