Ok. Today I went running.
I was gone forty five minutes. I think I went about three miles on the trail behind my house. We walk it a lot. It takes under an hour to walk. Yes, that's right...I went s-l-o-w-l-y. I walked a little bit too. The uphill part that was just about midway. I didn't start to feel any good until I was well into the return, I loosened up a bit, let myself speed things up and stretch out my stride, the stitch I had been battling abated. Interesting.
I haven't been running with any commitment or regularity in about a year.
I started running when I was 20 and dating the man who is now my ex-husband. He was a runner. His sister was a state champion runner. Running was sort of a foregone conclusion.
I actually had always wanted to be a runner. I am a swimmer. I swam competitively on and off from 8-20. I was on a Master's team the year before I got pregnant (and five a.m. practices became utterly ridiculous). I still swim on my own about once a week. My daughter and I hit the pool daily when she is with me. It is our thing. We "Go. To. The. POOL!" She is the cutest water creature ever with her over sized Speedo and the really big green goggles. Prancing around the kiddie pool. Singing Winnie the Pooh. Her favorite time to go is when the grandmas are doing water aerobics; shakin' it to nineties dance beats blasting in the giant tile room. 'We dance Mommy! We dance In. The. POOOOL!" She even submits to the shower pre and post swim as she has accepted that big girls get to go swimming and big girls who get to go swimming have to take showers.
Anyway. I like to swim. I'm In my element in the pool. Even for as much as I balked at it when I was 16. (To be fair, I threatened to quit about three times a year, every year from the ages of 1-16 when I did just quit, then went back, briefly a couple of times.)
So, I have a lot of mixed emotions about running. I am not in my element there. I like the gear, but don't much look like a hardcore runner. I'm tallish, 5'81/2" after the baby, and reasonably thin anymore, but I have yet to find a decent non-cotton sports bra that deals with the over movement on top. My right foot kicks out. I hunch my shoulders too much and run with my head mostly down. I usually wear a hat because I'm pretty photosensitive. Mostly, I think I am just self conscious.
I don't feel like a runner. I can't even projectile spit very effectively.
My self-consciousness leads pretty much to my utter lack of regularly scheduled motivation when it comes to picking up a running routine and sticking to it for any significant period of time.
We ran a lot the summer before I got pregnant. We ran a lot that whole year. Then I started working and my ex-husband was in grad school. I went back to the pool. He went to the gym with my sister. He still goes to the gym with my sister. Hmm.
I had a really low energy pregnancy. I spent my first trimester backpacking through Europe, when I got back to the states I mostly slept, went to class, swam some, rode a bike a bit, walked a lot. Remodeled a house, moved in, had a C-Section. Walked some more. Separated.
It was in the midst of my separation that I started running again. Pretty seriously. After my campaign job ended I got a gym membership. I ran late at night. Late. Usually between 8:30 and 11pm. I didn't want to be around people. Certainly not anyone that I knew. I was appropriately miserable you might say. I had moved out of the house that I shared with my husband and six month old baby. They had stayed. To say it was awful would not do that time justice. It was unspeakable. I mostly stayed home during the day. Read books about surviving. Gorged on bad fiction and The Gilmore Girls.
After the post-work happy endorphin people had left the gym, I would make my way there. With the sad or odd or crazy scheduled people. It gave me the opportunity to watch prime time cable. That was a draw.
I ran and ran and ran then. Not fast or very consistently. On this build in to running in thirty days regimen. I would run and run and run while listening to Joni Mitchell and Aimee Mann. Yeah. I know, right?
After all the running I would cool down on a bike in the Spinning Studio! while listening to Jeff Buckley sing 'Hallelujah' and then spend about an hour in the steam room. Shower, go home, curl up around some tofu scramble or a beer or a martini or just some Knob Creek and wait to be released into sleep again.
I would sleep late in those days. Ten, eleven o'clock in the morning. And then later, after everyone had gone home to their lives, to their families, then I would go run.
So. Here is where I am. Today I ran for 45 minutes after. I'm giving myself credit for three miles. I returned home and layed in the grass and had some water I pushed out 100 crunches.
Oh, thank you so much Dr. Mama...I feel very maggot like.
I ate the shit out of some barbecued chicken. Yes, man. De-lisssssh.
I want to be running five miles in forty minutes and doing 500 crunches in a day. We shall see what happens. I want to do this big run in Oregon in August.
I'm sure I'll write more about running soon. I'm glad I got out there. I want to keep going. I really enjoyed running alone. I was always afraid to do that before. I think this is some sort of personal growth. Or strength. Or confidence. That can't be all bad.