It was about two years ago at this time that I started training to run a half marathon, an undertaking that I considered to be fairly ludicrous, but one I somehow managed to complete. I trained over the winter, in snow, ice, what have you, and by the time I ran the half in New Orleans in late February, I was so used to running in the cold that I pretty much overheated in New Orleans’ pleasant 60 degree weather.
Somewhere along in there I actually really started to like running. Well, that’s not quite accurate. I often didn’t like the actual act of running, particularly starting a run. But it became my favorite way to exercise- outdoors, solo, music in my ears, rhythmic, efficient.
And then I got pregnant, tried running for a while, gave up, had a kid, moved to a new house, quit the gym, went back to work, tried to fit into my pants, ate more than my fair share of doughnuts, and finally thought “huh, I should probably just start running again.”
So here I am, very slowly trying to figure this all out again. Wondering why, if I could run 13 miles just two years ago, a quick 2 miler sometimes makes me fear my lungs will burst. Feeling lucky if I can squeeze in two runs a week instead of the 4-5 I was doing before. Cursing the alarm clock when it bleats at me at 5:30, when the baby is miraculously still sleeping and honestly shouldn’t I be sleeping too but I have TRIED working out after dinner and it just doesn’t work so it’s now or never, self. Get out of bed.
I’m slow. My heel hurts. I feel stupid in my traffic-cone-orange pullover that I wear to make sure I’m visible during my pre-dawn runs.
But today, I took my first run in bel0w-freezing temperatures and even though it kind of sucked, even though I got a cramp and my breathing never found a rhythm, the cold air and the pre-dawn light (thank you, end of daylight saving time, for putting that pink glow back in the sky,) felt good. I was glad to be out there.
Because I am a crazy person, I’ve committed to running the same half I ran two years ago, in New Orleans in early March. (Full disclosure: I am running it as a relay with a friend, because for all my big talk, I’m not at all convinced I’ll be able to squeeze in ten mile training runs over the winter on icy roads with no gym membership to give me a treadmill backup. I’m not THAT crazy.) This does mean that at some point, I’m going to have to start running more than a 5K at a time, which right now seems kind of laughable. But I think it’s good to have a goal because otherwise, I might not do this at all.
So, friends, you’ve been warned. I’m probably going to start talking about running again. I’ll try to keep the douchey self-reflective posts like this one to a minimum, but I can make no promises.