Welcome to day four. This has certainly been an exciting week for us, and hopefully for you as well. Please come and run with me a bit while I introduce Tim Lyman. Tim is an accomplished Marathon distance runner as well as blazingly fast 5k and 10k athlete. Tim is also one of the most supportive and caring coaches that I know:
“It began with butterflies in the back yard. I have the faintest, yet fondest, memories of chasing them around as a child. I would run in the grass barefoot, whimsically pursuing my elusive and colorful counterparts as they darted around always a few steps ahead of me. My young, undeveloped legs were never long or fast enough to keep up and I’d soon lose sight of one pair of wings and need to find another. I’d happily repeat this cycle for hours on end, joyfully zigzagging around trees and diving through hedges before collapsing into a sweaty, satisfied lump of pre-pubescent bliss.
Two decades later, my best explanation for my behavior as a child is that it simply made me happy in a way nothing else could. I haven’t chased any butterflies in a long time, but I’ve never given up pursuing the feeling of euphoria that I experienced lying in the grass looking up at the clouds after a good chase. Most people run to stay in shape, many people run to compete against themselves or others and some find their satisfaction in the ever elusive “runners-high.” These are all great reasons to lace-up and hit the road, but still, in a sense, superficial. We all have something deep inside our subconscious that drives, no demands, us through the early mornings and freezing cold; it pushes us through both our physical and mental barriers on a daily basis.
My best advice to runners, or endurance athletes of any kind, is to uncover this part of you. If you enjoy sightseeing, plan your runs through parts of town you rarely get a chance to see. If you find solace in the sounds of rhythmic breathing and the metronome-esque footfalls of a smooth, steady pace use long, even surfaces to get into your groove. If you crave the adrenaline rush of conquering a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, include bigger and badder hills as part of your training regimen. Love the run, and embrace whatever part of it that makes it truly enjoyable to you as an individual. Find your butterfly, and then go catch it.