Friday, January 17, 2014
As much as I love running, I definitely have a running "season." In 2011 I started running around the block in April, huffing and puffing, so incredibly proud of myself the first time I ran a mile without stopping. I joined a running group and ran with them from August-December, making it up to a 20 mile week, and a 12 mile long run. When I found out I was pregnant, I stopped running almost right away. Partially because it didn't feel right, partially because I was too new to the sport and didn't have the confidence I needed to run through pregnancy, and in many ways life just got in the way.
2012 - I had my daughter on July 29, and went for my first run a week and a half later (by run, I mean I alternated slow jogging with walking until I reached a mile. And yes, it felt terrible). I went on my first group run when she was 4 weeks old, and ran a half marathon in early December. It was slow, I wasn't in the greatest shape, but I did it. After that, again, life got in the way - my daughter was up 4-6x per night to nurse, my in-laws were visiting us, I started back to work after maternity leave and was figuring out how to juggle everything.
2013 - I skipped most of my midweek runs in January and only did 5-8 miles with the group on Sundays. When Amaliya started going to daycare in February, the whole family got sick, and I stopped running altogether. I told myself, when I get better, I'll start running again. Little did I know how daycare germs would linger. I didn't start to feel healthy again until mid-May, and was so out of shape and sleep deprived at that point, I was discouraged from even trying to run again.
I got my act together in July and started running around 10 miles per week, in preparation for the Lopers season to start. Again, I joined the group, ran hard for a few months, completed two half marathons this time, and struggled through the holidays when the mornings got darker and colder and sugar became a significant component of my diet. My tentative goal of running a marathon in the spring slipped away, when I realized I could not possibly commit the necessary time or energy.
It's January again. 2014. The Christmas decorations are packed away, spring is on the horizon, my baking supplies are once again relegated to the back of the pantry, a new semester has started.... but this year, I am still running. Having a baby, or perhaps just life and getting older, has taught me a thing or two about mental toughness. I've run through colds and stomach bugs. I've run after a dinner consisting of cookies. I've run on 4 hours of sleep more times than I can count. I don't want running to be a seasonal thing for me anymore. This is my sport of choice, I love doing it, and I want to keep it up all year long, for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do us part.
I love you, running. I'm excited to see how our relationship blossoms in the spring.