Middletown Athletic Club

(serving the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend, Delaware Running Community since 2002)

"That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is."  - Kara Goucher

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  • Thoughts on the Run - "Remember Your Why" by Andrew Shearer

Thoughts on the Run - "Remember Your Why" by Andrew Shearer

April 05, 2024 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

“So Shearer, why are you running 10 miles today?”  That’s not a question I think I’ve ever had to answer.  In 45+ years as a runner, for the most part I’ve always known that every run has a purpose.  Let’s see if I can answer this. 

I’ll be candidly honest here… I have not enjoyed running much the past 30 months or so.  There have been days that I downright hated it, dreaded it, and attempted to avoid it.  It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with the act of running but rather I’d fallen out of love for MY running. 

A few years ago, I experienced a rather nasty knee injury.  Oddly, the injury did not stem from running, racing or anything resembling my chosen activity.  It was a freak accident that took a few weeks to manifest itself into a debilitating pain that could not be overlooked.  You just know when you know, so off to the surgeon for a diagnosis that left me with few options.  The surgery took place October 2021. 

According to all accounts, the procedure went the way it was supposed to go.  Unfortunately, the time frame for recovery did not.  3 to 6 months became 6 to 12 months became ‘up to two years.’  I was permitted to run to tolerance (HA! If you know, you know).   My Why for running had remained intact up to that point.  It was my ability that had taken the hit.  And as the ability waned, the Why became blurry. 

Recently I was reminded of the Why comment from several of my former athletes and running partners.  One in particular had all but given up her on racing career.  As she put it, “I hated it.  Everything about it.”  She reached out and we chatted a bit.  “Remember your Why, Shearer.  You used to say that all the time.”  I didn’t come up with the saying, but it had stuck with her.  I counseled her to go back to her Why and perhaps seek a different pathway.  Thus far, it appears she has reignited her passion for the daily 5. 

Hmmmm, so maybe it’s time I looked back at that Why again and see where it takes me.  In the past 30 months or so, I’ve reluctantly continued to train and run.  I still seek out racing opportunities.  I read about the sport, I follow the sport, heck I even coach the sport.  Why? 

As I passed the two-year mark in my knee recovery last October, I started mentally and physically changing my approach.  I Cross train a lot more than I ever did before.  I’ve started stretching more frequently and incorporated strength training (no, I am not ‘buff’).  My 1st mile of any run resembles a slow trot rather than a quick saunter.  I spend 10-15 minutes twice a week doing yoga.  And training paces have become irrelevant to me. 

I am now able to maintain 20-24 miles a week on a regular basis.  There is still discomfort, the occasional extra day off because I overdid it, and the frustration of not really being able to plan a solid ‘training block’.  But the enjoyment is slowly returning.

So why did I run 10-miles that day?  My answer was pretty simple… because I could. 

I hope to see you on the roads, tracks and trails. 

Middletown Athletic Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 99 Willow Grove Mill Drive, Middletown, DE 19709

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