September 17, 2013

Running Again

This morning, while out for my morning run, I had this moment of, "Wow, I really missed this."

The sun was on the rise. It was a crisp, fall morning. I had my earbuds in and a happy song playing. Neighbors were waving as they headed out to work or taking kids to school. I hit my stride early. The soreness from yesterday's cross-training workout faded away.

And I. Was. Just. Running.

And it was good.

It has been more than 5 years since I ran regularly. It was well before my first pregnancy that I stopped. I still worked-out then, but running had lost its luster. I had run off-and-on since high school, but it was at 24, when I decided to run a marathon, that I became a runner. And though I only ran one marathon, I kept running regularly for a number of years after that, often entering 5 and 10K's.

But somewhere after 30, running fell out of favor in my workouts and other things took hold-- walking,  workout videos, the elliptical at the gym, whatever. Then when I would test the waters with a random run it would feel hard and forced so I wouldn't come back to it again for a while.

What's funny is: I missed it. Even when I thought I didn't really like running. I missed it. I even fantasized about it sometimes (which I realize is kinda weird).

Something had been triggered in me on those long marathon training runs of 9 miles and 15 miles. The time with my thoughts. Then the time with no thoughts…when I was just in-the-zone, breathing in and out, feet pounding the pavement, feeling akin to something in nature…hitting up that runner's high.

The other thing that's funny is that I never considered myself a natural runner. I don't have the build I associate with "real" runners-- even when I'm in great running shape. And I'm not a particularly fast runner-- my pace never improving from a comfortable 9-to-10-minute mile. But I ran.

I think I have always been more of a mental runner than a physical one. Running does something to my brain chemistry. Something good. Something that other workouts never quite achieved. The fresh air. The methodic, melodic, therapeutic, rhythmic thud-thud-thud-thud-thud-thud. It changes something in me.

So this morning, after a week of regular morning runs, I realized I was getting reacquainted with an old friend.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

And this made me smile.

* * *

Until next time, go find an old friend to get reacquainted with.

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