Renewed Sense of Purpose
by Antonio Vega on June 28, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Duluth, Minnesota for the U.S. Half Marathon Championships, just to get back into the atmosphere of professional road running. Before I left for Duluth, I knew I wouldn't be running the race, but I just wanted to be around all the top runners and stay in touch with the sense of excitement one gets at a national championship race.
The race was terrific and I really enjoyed talking with some of friends and fellow competitors. I won the half marathon championship in Houston in 2010 and reflecting back on that huge victory for me, made me realize how easy things are when everything is going right for you. When you can see immediate results from all the training, it isn't hard to get motivated to go out there and train and race hard. That's easy.
What's not so easy is pursuing your running dreams when you are faced with setback after setback. Every runner is faced with plenty of setbacks and successes—it's the nature of the sport—but I believe it is how you deal with the highs and lows that builds character.
Nobody enjoys the lows and I am certainly ready to move beyond the setbacks I've faced for the past two years and resume my running career. I am not the first runner to have missed significant time with injuries. Others have bounced back and I know I will too.
Being in Duluth definitely gave me a mental boost and a renewed sense of purpose with my training. Since returning home, I have felt more and more like my old self as I get back into my routine of running, stretching and strength training every morning. Even the morning soreness I feel is welcome and lets me know that yesterday was a good day of training.
I am still not ready to compete, but I am getting fitter and fitter every week. Each training session brings me closer and closer to my eventual return. I'll be back.
It's just a matter of time and patience.