Oh, For the Love of Running

It’s no secret that I’ve been having a hard time getting back on my running feet after a pretty intense schedule of races over the past year. My legs have consistently felt heavy, and my lungs have been fighting me the whole way. Truthfully, I know it was mostly mental. But, it was what it was. And I wasn’t enjoying running like I used to.

And then this morning I opted to stay snuggled in my warm bed listening to the rain hit my window — when I “should” have been getting in my four-mile run. The thing is, I knew I had a completely free afternoon, since our summer half-day Fridays started this week. And my still-sore legs were begging for a break after some intense lunges and deadlifts yesterday. Plus, I’d woken up with a tweaked neck that would require a morning visit to the chirporactor. (It’s still not 100 percent, and she suggested I get a massage.)

Not excuses — I know I chose not to run today. And I’m not apologizing for it. Just giving the full picture.

All day — all four hours of it, anyway — I was nervously looking forward to this afternoon’s run. It’s rainy and cool today — my FAVORITE running weather of all time. And it was broad daylight so I could comfortably run on the wooded trail instead of the sidewalk by a very busy but well-lit road. But, what if this run stunk as much as the last one? What if I truly had lost my love of running for good?

I set out for my run hoping for a decent run — knowing that most of it is all about the attitude.

pre-run smiles

Hopefully setting out on a four-mile run in the rain.

I walked down to the apartment office to drop off my rent — it is the first of the month after all — and counted it as my warmup. And then I started my GPS, covered it up with my sleeve and headed out on the run. Before I knew it, I heard the one-mile alarm on my GPS. “I haven’t been running that long,” I said out loud, confused. And then I really looked around me and saw where I was. I had been running a mile. I didn’t uncover my GPS to see how long it took me. I didn’t want to know. I just wanted to run for the sake of running. (That’s how I do “spontaneous” too — I like to do things on a whim, as long as I can assign some measurement or order to them when I’m done.)

But, when I heard the second mile alarm go off, I had to pull the sleeve up of my running jacket. By the time I fought with the elastic to uncover the watch, I saw a very quick flash that said 8:57. What?! I haven’t run that quickly in a long, l-o-o-o-o-o-ng time. I quickly sent off a post that may or may not have included a swear. And may or may not have admitted that I was crying — justalittlebit.

I put myself back together and headed home, smiling the whole way. And then, I turned the corner to head up the hill — into a cold, rainy wind — toward home. Soon enough, I was passing mile three. All I could think about on mile four was how amazing I felt — even those two sore legs of mine. My mind was in it. My body was in it. Most importantly, my heart was in it.

And then, soon enough, I turned into the apartment complex, heard the GPS and walked myself the rest of the way to my apartment. I felt like I could run forever. But I know better. And I certainly didn’t want to overdo it on my very first good (GOOD!) run back.

at mile four

What a fantastic four miles!

When I walked in the door, I was soaking wet. My legs were covered in mud. And pollen. And grass. And I couldn’t stop smiling — filled up to the brim with that love of running I haven’t felt in some time.

The verdict? Four miles, 35:52 — an 8:58 pace. I’m extremely happy with this. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for a long, hot shower and a mug of green tea.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Oh, For the Love of Running

  1. YAY! You gotta love days like that. Some days it can feel like a chore just getting 2 miles in and then other days it’s 4 miles and you feel like you can just keep going. Maybe you’re over your running slump. 🙂

    Like

  2. wendy warren

    Yay you!!!

    Like

  3. Lorrie

    I’m so glad your running mojo has started to return! You go girl!

    Like

  4. Wow, great run! Glad you’re loving it again!

    Like

  5. Pingback: Running is ALL the Things « That's All Joy Wrote

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