Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pounding Pavement

Well I've done it. I've started running again. Not necessarily training for anything, but at least I am pounding the pavement. For those of you who have known me awhile, you probably know that running is a passion of mine. It's "me" time and occasionally "me and a good friend" time or "me and my husband" time. For a long time, it was "me and my sister" time and I really miss those runs. But since Jake came along, running has terrified me.

Okay, so I know that it sounds completely crazy to say that, but when the whole blood clot thing happened and I went on bed rest for awhile, I could slowly feel myself get out of shape. As many pregnant ladies do (and should in my opinion), I had that extra scoop of ice cream at night, that fourth piece of pizza, and that midnight snack when I wanted it. Slowly some pregnancy weight started creeping onto other parts of me besides that big ol' belly, but I didn't mind. And I don't wish that I had done it any differently. In the back of my mind however, I knew that putting on those running shoes again would not come easy.

Before I was pregnant, I could run a marathon. I could walk out the door and run a ten miler with very little difficulty. With very little training, I could survive just about any race if I needed to. And the tough part is that my mindset has stayed this way. My brain seems to be stuck in the past, thinking that I can very easily put on those shoes and keep a steady pace for a couple of hours. But not long into my run these days, my body does not feel the same way. Now instead of thinking "just make it to that next stop sign" I think, "that stop sign is too far away. I'll never make it." Instead of finding my groove- a happy place where my body pretty much does everything mechanically and my mind can wander and enjoy my surroundings, often times praising God for the beautiful day and the ability to run at all- I pant and grunt and my heart feels like it's going to pound right out of my chest. The "meanness" in me (as my husband always puts it) has been replaced with a very strong desire to quit, or at least walk much more than I'd like. In other words, it's not fun as much fun as it used to be, back when I was good at it. And I miss my fun... a lot. So I'm finding myself treating each run like an old friend that I have to get reacquainted with after a long hiatus. It's awkward right now, but I know that over time we will bond again and reconnect in our special way.

So although I have not signed up for any races (yet), I am going to continue to tie those laces, press "Start" on my watch, and get out there when I can. And hopefully soon, even if it's for just a couple of minutes, I will find that happy place and know that I am back. And those few moments will make it all worth it.

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