So I have been running for 5+ years now. It’s been an incredible journey and brought me through so many emotions and tough times and joys in that time. I’ve learned how to run in the cold and how to layer pretty well. I’ve learned how to run in the heat and humidity and to keep those runs slower paced. I’ve learned that rain running is great, wet sneakers are only gross while they are getting wet and lightning and fog are the only warm weather wet run stopping blocks. I have learned that windy running is my least favorite and dark running is one I like a lot because I feel like a fast Bad Ass Runner. I think I’ve made the transition to level 2 runner if there is such a thing. L2 is the stage where you do the things you SHOULD do when it comes to safety. Wear reflective gear and headlamps even though you look like a giant nerd. Bring water on a simple 3 mile morning run in the summer because it’s humid, you’re not 20 anymore and you might need it. L2 is the stage where you don’t run in the middle of the day when it’s 85 out just because you can. You go really early and sacrifice sleep or really late possibly post dinner and hope you don’t puke or have a bathroom run or just starve until you finish your run then eat the calories you burned up because you’re starving. LOL. L2 is the stage where you make sure people at work know your running route in case you don’t come back from your lunch run and need your co-workers to scrape you up off the road with a shovel. This is where you actually read about running to learn how to do it better rather than just winging it and you join online forums to learn from more experienced runners how to make adjustments. I’ve reached L2 for sure. Here I no longer feel like I have to maintain a 9 minute mile every day and if I’m not feeling good I call that a rest day and am OK with it. L2 is something that just finds you when you are ready and when you’re not looking. I imagine that L3 is the sacrifice stage where you just take time that would otherwise be given to something else important and keep it for yourself to do what you need to in order to achieve your goals. Although I do that now, it’s in major moderation and never interferes with my kids needs. At some point they will not need me as much so for now I’m good remaining at Level 2 but 3 isn’t so far away.