So the streak is alive! I have managed to run at least 1 mile every day this year...but I continue to wonder, where are all the other runners? I know they exist, I have run with them. Yet in my neighborhood, I rarely encounter another runner. I know of 6 people in the area who run, but I only see one of them regularly, and that's only if our weekend long-run paths happen to cross.
Like a lot of runners, I tend to stick to the same routes, week after week. I have some areas I call "add-ons", which are extensions of my normal route if I need to add mileage. And I hardly ever see any other runners on these routes. This past weekend I switched up my long run route a bit. I headed out for 22 miles, just me and Fredo the Wonderdog. On a prior weekend, I had run with a friend on a route around my town that I had never run before. I decided to try the route again. I got a late start (for a long run--6:30), and I didn't see another runner until mile 8! And these were two runners from a local running club. At mile 12 I saw another runner--the one guy who lives on my street and I see running now and then. Even the nature trail, which often has other runners, was sparsely populated. So where are they? I hear non-running friends and acquaintances make silly statements when I talk about running--like "I didn't even drive that far this weekend." But the one that makes me mad is, "I can't run." Yes you can! Almost everyone can run. What they're really saying is that they don't like to run, or it's hard, or they've never really tried it.
Running isn't easy for most people. I'm sure it's easy for some, but not for me, and not for most of my running friends. But there is something about it. Once you learn how to breathe comfortably, how to relax while running, how to keep putting one foot in front of the other...you realize that your body is capable of so much more than you give it credit for...and when you realize that, you also realize that your mind is stronger than you realize. In running, the mind often has to be stronger than the body. The body will keep moving, as long as the mind tells it to.
So maybe the other runners have just not yet realized that they are capable. Whether it's a walk/run around the block, a jog with the dog or the kids, or a long run of 22 miles with Fredo the Wonderdog, you can do it. I often have to remind myself of that, but so far, I have managed to convince my body that it can keep going. Now get out the door and just do it!