Not gonna lie, the runner in me ran far, far away a few years ago.
There's all kinds of reasons--I bought a home, changed neighborhoods. Work is busy. Different responsibilities. Mom got sick, Mom died. Grief is weird. They're not excuses, just reasons that my running fell by the wayside and then just kind of stayed there, like a discarded Gu wrapper on a race course.
Over the last few years, I've made efforts, but there's more obstacles--pandemic teaching, more duties at school keeping me there later (too dark to run safely), and still not feeling totally comfortable running in my neighborhood.*
*This is less about the possibility of being messed with by weirdos and more about the way I've seen people drive around here. Stop signs seem to be a suggestion.
Something needed to give.
So a few weeks ago, I found myself running (ha!) a bunch of errands before going to an Aqua Yoga class*, one of which was going to Fleet Feet to stock up on Gu for my pre-workout nutrition on days I do early workouts with Kay.
*You should try it--it's yoga, but in the water, where I'm about ten times more flexible than I am on land.
As I walked inside, I had a sudden thought--I should check out their training programs. I know they have all kinds of running groups, and surely there's one for someone like me. I asked the guy who rang up my purchase where a lapsed runner might start from scratch, and he showed me a really great option: the Limitless group.
It's an 8-week program designed to get someone from nothing to a 5K or 10K. Sort of like Couch to 5K, but I've paid for it, and there are actual human beings showing interest in my progress. It's a group, too, so you find yourself cheering others on and sharing in that satisfaction of getting out there and getting it done.
We meet on Sunday mornings for our longer run, and on Tuesday evenings for speed intervals. Yesterday was my second long run day, and--come on, you know this isn't easy, right?
The good news is, my legs feel great. All that strength training with Kay is working. It's my lungs that are on fire when I run these days. I know it will get easier the more I get out there--with consistency!!--but for right now, I sound like a steam engine. Yesterday, I was literally grunting to myself to keep going.
But I'm doing it. I'm finding a new consistency and I'm enjoying it. I have missed running, and the clear head it brings. I've missed having that camaraderie with other runners and the inner competitiveness I use to spur myself on.* Most especially, I've missed how I feel after the run, as my heart rate slows and my breathing returns to normal. The endorphins are real, and they are great.
*"How is she faster than me? I'm just gonna have to catch up. Oooh! She's walking now. I'm gonna keep running so I can pass her..."
Our end goal is the Shamrock'n 5K in March--I've run this one before, and it's counterpart, the Shamrock'n Half. It's a fun race, everyone decked out in green. It will be my first race in at least three years, I think.
So onwards, my trusty Mizunos. We have work to do.
|Back when I was running in Lincoln regularly.|