On The Road Again

13 Mar

I have made no secret of the fact that lately, my running has not really been up to snuff. Due to a combination of factors – illness, hospitalization of the kid, atrocious winter weather, wedding planning chaos, and the fact that I turn into a pathetic crybaby every winter – it has been hard for me to get out for my runs. For a couple of months I was going great guns on the treadmill at the gym, but I reached the saturation point with that, after which I just couldn’t stomach the thought of the treadmill.

I have fallen a little bit out of shape – not drastically so, just enough for me to be aware of my hamstrings when I’m running up hills.

That in itself does not bother me. I have been running for long enough to know that from time to time, life just gets in the way and interrupts that training program. It’s not the end of the world. Sooner or later I always get back into it, and I find that my loss of fitness and speed are negligible.

This time, though, something different happened. I started losing my enthusiasm for running, and that was absolutely alarming. To not want to run, to not need to run, is so foreign to who I am. Losing my love of running would be like losing a piece of myself, and I was determined not to let that happen.

And so, this morning – despite the time change that cost me an hour of sleep and created its usual confusion, I got up and prepared to join my running club for the Sunday run. I last ran with them about three weeks ago. Truth be told, I last ran at all about three weeks ago. I was feeling a little bit daunted at the prospect of running with people who were no doubt going to be in better shape than me.

Here’s the thing that got me going though: I actually felt excited. I was looking forward to getting out there and going for a run in the open air with friends.

There were three of us running today – all women (Where were the guys? It was such a lovely day for running.) We decided on a 10km jaunt through a park that none of us had been in since before the snow started.

Yikes. I haven’t run 10km for weeks. I have done some insanely fast 5km and 6km runs, but not 10km.

There were hills. I haven’t run hills for weeks.

As runs go, it was not my most stellar performance. I didn’t pace myself properly, and in the last 3km or so I could feel a blister starting to blossom on my right foot.

But I finished the run. My butt muscles were hurting and I was exhausted, but I finished. That completely trumped the fact that the run was a tough one.

I feel like I am back on the road, and even though I’m hurting this evening, I feel great.

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