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Published October 16 2011

Wagner: Even through life changes, runners should keep their perspective

Back during training for my first marathon, one of the books I read encouraged runners not to time their races around major life changes like moving or switching jobs.

It never really sunk in for me, especially after having gone through major flood fights here in Fargo-Moorhead and finding a way to balance it all.

Then came this fall, with a new job and moving to Bemidji, Minn., on the horizon.

Keeping up my mileage? No problem.

Running my first ultramarathon? Sure, why not?

But I didn’t figure house hunting, dealing with the transition and trying to figure out all the details, would be so all encompassing. Or so draining.

Now I get it.

During the past several weeks, I’ve managed to keep up running most week days, even though a few running partners found out the hard way that I’d overslept from the exhaustion. On the weekends, the furious pace of work and moving caught up with me. So much for my long runs.

To my running partners, I’ve apologized sincerely.

Personally, some of my best fitness gains have slipped. Still, my next key race is nearly three months away in Arizona. There’s time to recalibrate, renew training and fine tune fitness to race well.

And so changes in life may take their toll, but they shouldn’t make us lose perspective.

This past Sunday, I was humbly reminded of this, as some local runners gathered for a “going away” run on my behalf. Soon I felt that familiar rush of adrenaline, soaked in ambition and good conversation with my running partners. A feeling of exhilaration rushed through me, to my legs, and my body felt renewed.

Afterward, we gathered at the Fryn’ Pan, drinking coffee and eating pumpkin pancakes, and I loved every minute of it. Not because they were gracious to show up for me, but because there’s few things better than sharing stories, laughing and learning from others who’ve been road tested.

As I near my departure for Bemidji, I look forward to sharing new trails through my blog and running column, which will continue in The Forum.

And when I make semi-frequent trips back to Fargo to visit family and friends, my running shoes will be packed.


Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@forumcomm.com.