Well, I will be honest — these last two weeks are the first two weeks in a couple of months that I have actually stuck to a training schedule. Between moving, buying a car, and just life in general, running took a backseat. Which is never a good thing, because running is what makes me feel the most sane. When I lose my ability to get lost, I lose my ability to think clearly.
Somehow, though, I muddled through a few very big changes without my Asics and ten minute miles. A couple of weeks ago, when I was finally ready, I put my sneakers on again and attempted a three mile run. It was brutal, to say the least. I was reminded of why I try to never let myself get that out of shape — because the building up of something broken is always painful. I’m not just talking about the actual soreness of muscles, but the embarrassment of huffing and puffing at mile one again. No one else in the world notices how much it bothers me when I lose some of my strength. But I notice it, acutely, each time I have to stop to catch my breath. It is not something that should bother me (running is, after all, about not giving up), but it still does.
Either way, I had to kick myself in gear in the past couple of weeks, because I am committed to running a half marathon in Las Vegas in less than a month. I did this last year and had a blast, and I am lucky that my boyfriend is crazy enough to do it with me this time. It will be his first half (shout out to him!) and my third, although I am admittedly not terribly prepared.
But then I remembered that last year at this time, I had just been informed that I have plantar fasciitis and my podiatrist strongly recommended that I don’t run the race. But I already had my plane ticket and race fever in my bones, so I took my own recommendation and did it anyway. And I did not PR. I walked a lot. I didn’t care, though, because I was running with my best friend on the Las Vegas strip at night, and God doesn’t give you many nights like that.
This year, I will be running with (or behind…) my boyfriend. I have less than one month to stop being so out of breath, otherwise I am going to be walking 13.1 instead of running. Which would be fine, in the grand scheme of things. But I am a runner, and therefore I am stubborn, and I want to feel like I ran for the medal. Also the beer and bananas.
So I guess I’m writing this blog post to motivate myself.
I want to be able to run 10 miles before taking on this challenge. There. I said it. You should hold me to it. 😉
In the past, I have never trained past 10 miles for a half marathon. Once you reach that number you’ve gone way too far to stop with only three miles left. Three point one. Which, ironically, is pretty much the distance I can run right now with stopping.
But I do know how to train. So train I will. The other day I finished my run and felt like my body had more. I took the last hill by storm and remembered that one of the big reasons running is the closest thing to freedom is that you feel so much. You feel the breaking down of muscle, and the straining of lungs, and the bitterness of cold air. And you decide if you want to keep going. You decide if you want to stop halfway. Determination breeds continuation. And continuation breeds transformation.
I continued up the hill. And then I rolled my foot on the damn frozen water bottle and broke out the Icy Hot and the K-tape for my calves and decided that I was starting to be a runner again. I was starting to recover again. I am starting, perhaps, to be me again.