Yesterday, I went for my first run since October.
Ok, well that’s technically not true. I tried to do a 1 mile run the day after Christmas and I swore I thought I was going to die. No seriously, I thought I was going to cough up a lung, my heart would stop beating and I would just fall over. Of course, this could be partially blamed on the fact that I was trying to run a sub 10 min mile. Yeah, not smart at all.
So yesterday morning I decided to give it another go but with a different goal. I was going to have fun.
Back story is that I’m training for two events this year, a half marathon in June and the New York Marathon in November. I somehow convinced three of my friends (sorry, ladies) to run a ½ marathon last year and now we’re training for it. We’ve got a schedule going, planning on doing some trainings together and of course good old fashion accountability.
Well, Monday was Day 1 of training and guess who slept through her alarm? Yeah, so much for a good start. However, I stuck with the program; just because I missed the first run doesn’t mean the whole schedule was off. So I continued with cross training Tuesday and a 25 min run on Wednesday.
And then it started to happen again. I wanted to compete with myself.
I’ve been away from my running sneakers for almost 3 months now , ok, 2 weeks. It doesn’t seem that much, but to my body it feels like the first time running again. I didn’t want to wake up early, I felt tired and winded in the first few minutes and it was too cold (all my East Coast readers are gonna roll their eyes at that last comment). It was the hardest run but the most rewarding because I had fun again.
I started the route off telling myself, “No competing! This is not track day.” I kept reminding myself to breath, to enjoy the quiet time and to just focus on the getting the 25 minutes whether big or small; and sure enough it worked. I got the high again.
I was reminded why I like to run in the morning and how nice the cool air can feel when you first start going. I got to run along with barely a soul out enjoying the sun rise. I even was able to wear one of the Christmas presents Jon got me, Oiselle Arm Warmers. They are perfect for the California early mornings; something warm enough to get you out of the door, but easy to take off when you don’t need it anymore. I left my iPod at home so as not be distracted and I just ran without thinking.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling, a feeling of no judgment. There have been so many times where I’ve had a mileage or pace so focused in my head that I set myself up to fail. Not that it’s a bad thing to have a goal, but remembering to give yourself some grace is a good thing. I don’t have to run every single training session better than the last, as long as I make progress over time thats a good thing. I also get lost in the idea of people are judging me while I run. Yeah I’m not at my best pace or even in the best shape, but I’m still going and one day soon I’ll get there. I’m one step and one day closer to a PR!
I was reading Runner’s World’s series, How Running Changed Me: John Critchfield yesterday. I love reading that series, it totally can get anyone inspired. He mentions this great quote that now is sitting on my desktop and my office wall.
“If you’re out there on the road or trail, breathing slightly harder than you would be at the ice-cream sundae bar, you’re in a moment of personal perfection regardless of what you did or didn’t do the day before.” —Marc Parent, Runners World
I’ve missed this. I’ve missed the freedom. I sometimes I forget that I’m a two time marathoner. Dammit! I was hardcore once. Now, I’m gonna make it three. Man, I am a badass!