Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Hiatus

I've been on a running hiatus.  I never meant to stop running, it just happened.  Six weeks before I got pregnant with Stormy, I ran a half marathon.  While in my first month of pregnancy, I ran a personal record 5k.  Then things took a turn.  I was so, so sick.  Everyday was just a chore to go to work. I spent most evenings laying down.  When I started to feel better in my second trimester my body didn't respond well to running.  My ligaments ached and I could barely walk without pain, so the running stopped. 

I had a baby.  My daughter started kindergarten. I went back to work full-time, plus teaching a college course on the side.  Soon September was over and I hadn't run yet.  October hit and I did manage to get a few runs in, starting again with the couch to 5k program I used to start running years ago.  There were run/walk runs to build my running ability.  But then November hit and it hit hard.  It was a horrible month.  December was crazy, too. 

Now it is January, nearly one year since I stopped running.  I can't believe running has been gone this long.  Running has been my companion for many years on and off.  Before this hiatus, I had been running steadily for about 5 years.  In that time, I put in countless miles putting one foot in front of the other, happy to pound the pavement (or indoor track). 

One of my New Year Resolutions is to get into 5k running shape, especially since my mom is working on this as well.  I may have mentioned I like a good challenge, and even though this isn't a direct challenge, I can't have my mom running more or farther than me.

Today seemed like any day so many before, but I decided I would start working toward that 5k and packed my gym bag.  Getting both kids out the door, dropped off at school and day care, and to work was normal (which means it was stressful and sometimes a bit evil).  Work was hard because I didn't get much sleep last night (Stormy has an ear infection) and I had to concentrate on learning new things (another resolution).  As I walked out to my van tired from work, I questioned the idea of heading across the parking lot to the gym, especially as the snowflakes fell all around (snowflakes seem threatening when you have 8"of them in your yard last weekend and the roads are just  finally getting clear).

Instead of flaking out and heading home with the tired and weather excuse, I walked into the gym, changed into my freezing gym clothes (kept in my van all day) and walked up to the indoor track.  My iPod was dead and my sport watch was missing.  I decided I would run three laps on the 1/10 mile track and then walk a lap and repeat this for about 30 minutes.

I started my slow jog, my old reliable friend.  I got to three laps and thought I might as well for for a half mile.  I got to a half mile and thought, I could do a mile.  At one mile I decided to keep going to one and a half miles.  At one and a half miles, I had to stop for a bathroom break, but then I was back out on the track.  I curved to the left over and over until I had run around 31 times.  I ran 3.1 miles, that is a 5k.  I ran a 5k on the 9th day of my New Years resolution without much preparation (I wish I could have timed it but, see no iPod or watch statement earlier).  Resolutions are not supposed to be met in the first 9 days.  (Talk about being an overachiever.)   

I can't believe I did it.  I set our to run .3 miles before stopping and instead I ran 10 times that far. This is why people run; runners accomplish things they never thought possible all the time.  I had absolutely no idea I had that inside me, but I just kept telling myself I could do a few more laps.  It has been a year, how can I still run 3 miles?  They were not fast and they were not pretty, but I did it.  And now I can do it again.

I am not sure how I will feel tomorrow.  I am still sore from shoveling out my van from a snow drift on Tuesday morning.  I know sore, stiff muscles are in my future, but right now I feel amazing. I do not dread that future pain.  Every sore step I take will echo my accomplishment today, and I welcome that misery. 

How are your resolutions coming?

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