A Good Reminder

I only went running once last week.

That’s the least I’ve been running since . . . Squish was born? It was just that kind of a week. Cold. New schedules. Random loose ends to tie up. My one run was a trek to Trader Joe’s with the boys in the stroller. Not ideal, what with the cold and all, but it needed to to be done. So I did it and then looked forward to Saturday’s run because Saturday was supposed to be awesome. Warm and sunny and lovely. Which is why we planned to take the boys to the New York Botanical Gardens to see the train show with some friends. And which is why I didn’t get my run in.

At the time I told myself I wouldn’t explode if I missed a Saturday run (something I haven’t done in months). I told myself it was totally worth missing my run to spend all day at the Botanical Gardens watching hundreds of little boys and their parents (and the occasional sister) ooh and ahh over the trains and the buildings made entirely of plant parts. And it was totally worth it. But today I was feeling it. The lack of running. Not that I was feeling fat or lazy or that my legs were itching for some speed or anything like that. More like I was feeling flat. Uninspired. Weighted and confused. And for once, I almost bagged today’s run simply because I didn’t want to go.

But as the day got to the peak of its heat, I forced myself out the door anyway. I hit the first mile mark and was happy to have gotten so far. I got to the second mile and told myself I could turn back if I wanted to. There’s nothing wrong with a 4 mile run. Between miles 2 and 3 I passed a couple of people and realized that a couple of days off hadn’t robbed me of my competitive drive. And by the time I hit mile 4, I’d outrun the blues, felt the creative juices flowing, was inspired, and ran the last two miles happy, excited, and ready to move on.

It was nice to take a break. Nice to remember that I won’t fall apart, exactly,  if I don’t run. But it was also nice to be reminded of what running does for me, why I run, aside from going fast and getting exercise and spending some time in my own space.

It helps me to be me, gives me a chance to work things out in my mind, and lets me let go of . . . whatever baggage I’m carrying.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this. Running does wonders for me too. I find that if I take a break I start fearing. Fearing what? I’m not sure. That I won’t be able to run as far. That I’ll be slow. That I might not be able to finish what I set out to do. Maybe that I’ll collapse. I hate that I think like this. But as long as I’m running I feel good.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    It’s odd, but the memory of running being hard, like it was when I was a newbie, is somehow much stronger than the knowledge that running is invigorating and empowering. So it is good sometimes, I think, to take a break for at least a couple of days to remind yourself of what running actually does — and that even the pain of being a newbie is better than feeling so stale.

    [Reply]

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