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Marathon Meb: Revisit Your Roots

It's important not to lose sight of the progress you've made in running.

Running around my hometown of San Diego is like taking a daily drive down memory lane. I still do tempo runs at Lake Miramar and long runs at Mission Bay, where I’ve literally logged hundreds of miles and had some of my best—and worst—workouts. I’ll often run on the grass around Balboa Park, which brings me back to my high school days when I got my start as a competitive runner and first began dreaming about being an Olympian.

Now, 25 years, thousands of miles and hundreds of races later, revisiting those incredible memories on a regular basis helps me keep sight of how far I’ve come in my running career. As I approach 40 years old, it keeps me motivated to continue chasing my goals while inspiring others to do the same.

As runners, no matter how fast we are or how many races we’ve run, it’s important not to lose sight of the progress we’ve made and the difficulties we’ve overcome along the way. We all started running for different reasons: Some of us like to compete, while others first laced up their shoes to get in shape or lose weight. Regardless of why you logged your first mile, looking back to our earliest days can serve as a great reminder why we started running in the first place. It can also serve as motivation for continued improvement and enjoyment, and sharing those early memories can inspire others to start running—or start again after taking time off.

We are always influencing others through our stories and our actions. Whether you’ve lost a lot of weight running loops around your neighborhood, finished a half marathon after overcoming cancer or won the Boston Marathon like I did last April, know that every time you head out the door to run, you have the potential to impact others in a positive way and inspire a new wave of runners to get started in the sport.

Why did you start running? Ask yourself this question from time to time, especially when you might be struggling with motivation, and let the memories of your earliest days as a runner help you to appreciate the role the sport has played in your life and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration.

RELATED: Marathon Meb: Why We Run

 

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About The Author:

Meb Keflezighi is the only runner in history to win both the New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon and earn an Olympic medal. This is the first installment of his new “Marathon Meb” column for Competitor. Follow along each month in the magazine and also find regular training tips and inspiration at competitor.com/runmeb.