After months of worrying about it, sporadic efforts, and vacillating between “I’m going to fix this!” and “Screw it, I’ll just quit!” and finally deciding to let things Just Be until they started Just Be-ing something else, something clicked and I’m back to loving running.
Just like that.
It started with a Memorial Day Race that we do not just because it’s a race put on by our favorite running store, but because it honors those men and women from our area who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. I knew the running of the race part was going to be ugly because I hadn’t really been running, and even with an 8am start time it was going to be warm and m-u-g-g-y. It’s late May in Memphis and “Muggy” is this city’s middle name! But it wasn’t quite as ugly as I’d expected and – once I could breathe like a normal human being – I didn’t feel all that bad.
Of course having the store staff cheering us on by name, and the Patriot Guard Riders who came out to honor the latest name added to the existing 1,575 names on the memorial wall cheering us on telling us how awesome we were it was hard to feel bad about being out there in any way.
HCRP ended up at the Ortho Doc looking into some knee pain he’s been experiencing recently. No damage or injury, but it’s possible he’s beginning to develop a bit of arthritis in his knee. Not a game stopper, just requires some care and adaptation. Anyway, we blew off running Wednesday.
I blew off running Wednesday. He had a note from his doctor.
Thursday came and I packed my gym bag, took it to work, and spent the day alternately adoring and glaring at it. Around 3:30 I decided “I’m just not feeling this today, I don’t see it happening.” Then I thought about some of the races coming up on our calendar – some of our favorites in this area – and decided “No, I’m going to run!”
And so it went for the next 90 minutes.
Back and forth.
“Nope. Not running.”
Forth and back.
HCRP got there and was visibly limping so it was clear that running wasn’t in his best interests, which was the precise moment I decided “I’m running!”
We run together. Always have since I started the Women’s Running Program three years ago and told him “You’re doing these runs with me during the week!” Unfortunately because we run together and “always have” when one of us is ill, injured, or ‘just not feeling it’ it is far too easy for the other to “sit this one out” with them.
Such a load of crap!
And so I laced up my Asics and hit the Greenline for a couple (and a half, there was ‘and a half’) miles that felt really, really good! AND felt good at a pace that was a full 30 seconds per mile faster than my old reliable 12:00 minute per mile standby pace.
I’m so accustomed to having HCRP just off my left shoulder that I think part of my brain had come to believe I ‘couldn’t’ run alone. I’m not sure why, and honestly I’m not inclined to give it too much mental space or energy. The thought/belief was there, and now it’s not. I actually enjoyed the solitude.
Yesterday morning we (HCRP’s knee is improving! Yay!) headed out for another run. He kept it short (2 miles) and I resisted the urge to increase mileage too quickly and only went out for 3. And again, my pace was quicker than it’s been in the past and everything felt good.
I’m doing some things differently – basing my intervals on distance and not time and increasing the distance of the run intervals – which will bring the goals I had for this year to reality.
But more important than pace or time or distance is that I’m already looking forward to Monday’s run!