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Happening Now: Running

I realized while running this weekend, that I’ve talked a lot about how I plan to run in 2013 but not a lot about how I’m running right now.

The super duper good news is that I AM running.

I’m not a happy person when I’m not allowed to spend hours of my week prancing around the monuments. I’m actually a pretty terrible person to be around. I’m irritable, depressed, and likely to cry and/or hit you at any given moment. It’s nothing short of miraculous that I’ve been able to maintain all of my friendships and even start some new ones in the last two and half months.

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The actual return to running has not been as easy or as fast as I would like, but a small part of me can begrudgingly admit that it’s a good thing that it’s playing out this way. I’m learning to embrace patience and appreciate the value of slowing down. (Do me a favor and remind me that I said this when I start to get irrationally impatient and make dumb decisions.)

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Getting my ass handed to me by a 13 month old puppy…whatever.

Slowly, but surely, I’ve been able to log more and more miles. What started out as one frustratingly short, frustratingly tough mile has gradually increased to a once a week double digit run. (Not that I’m actually tracking my mileage…I haven’t touched a garmin since Ragnar Vegas and I’m not entirely sure which drawer I angrily shoved it to the back of when this injury bowled me over.)

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On Saturday, I finally ran for hourS plural. Two to be exact. It was probably the most thrilling part of 2013 to date. I was tempted to JUST KEEP RUNNING because it felt so-omg-amazing to be out for double digit miles again, but the part of me that would like to be marathon training in the very near future squashed that idea real quick.

Outside of a few 90 minute runs and my one two hour jaunt, I’ve been heading out for hourish long runs on a near daily basis and spending my off days on the elliptical. I’ve quickly learned (the hard way) which shorts are an appropriate length for the office gym and the painfully awkward angle between the recumbent bike and the elliptical. And I’ve made very good use of my Spotify membership, because while I can run unplugged for 7 hours and 34 minutes no problemo, it’s unbearable to think about spending a single minute on the elliptical without the company of Jake Owen, Rihanna or Justin Timberlake (RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU’RE EXCITED FOR HIS RETURN TO POP RADIO IN 2013).

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The running hasn’t been perfect. Far from it actually. But it makes the miles that do feel pain free and amazing really fucking spectacular. If you ever want to renew your appreciation for running: get injured. Only don’t actually do that, because it sucks.

Last night I ran for an entire hour without an ounce of discomfort. It was blissful. And magical. And made me immediately voice my desire to sprint home, crack open a beer, pull up an excel spreadsheet and start marathon planning.

Instead, I knocked on every available surface of wood, reminded myself about the whole slowing down and patience thing, and stuck to the beer, sans spreadsheet.

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Note to bartenders: your tip will double if you identify me as “runner” on my tab.

In addition to the addition of miles in my life, I’m majorly digging the fact that I’m doing all of the little things that I only get to do while actively running. Most of these things are the kind of things that non-runners might find a little weird.

Like rejoicing when I lose a toenail.

Or being super excited that I’m back to doing several loads of laundry each week. It’s never felt so good to run out of sports bras and running socks and have to dash to the store for another bottle of detergent so I can log some afternoon miles without smelling like a damp hamper.

Also packing running clothes every morning. I love this. Even if I do look like a bag lady on my two mile walk to work. When I first get injured, I tend to still bring a pathetic tote of running gear with me to work on a daily basis, just in case a freak miracle occurs and I’m suddenly okay to run at lunch. On the night that I broke my foot in 2011, I couldn’t put any weight on it, was crying in pain any time it moved a millimeter, and still put together a bag of race gear for the next morning. True story. Some might think this is rather foolish behavior, I choose to believe I’m a refreshingly optimistic individual.  Anyway, packing running clothes and actually using them, makes me freakin’ happy.

And I think you can all imagine how giddy I was to collect another race bib to hang in my hallway after I spent January 1st jogging 5 kilometers around Reston, Virginia.

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I didn’t actually “race” the 5k. Obviously.

I can’t even tell you what my time was. (That is not an invitation to find the results online and fill me in, BTdubs.)

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I can tell you that I got to spend the 24 hours before the “race” indulging in some of my favorite race eve and day traditions.  You know, the important things. Like a 6am dance party (which, let me tell you, my houseguest just LOVED) and getting to paint my nails on race eve for the first time since November.

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It’s the little things, people.

So that’s the latest and greatest. I’m running. It sucks to think that I’m only running a fraction of what I was last year, but I’M RUNNING, and even when it’s shitastically gross, cold, dark and rainy out, I’m still beyond ecstatic to be out there at all. Which is exactly how I want to feel when I can finally put my plan of attack in motion.

16 Responses to Happening Now: Running

  1. Awesome you are running again! I can’t wait to see how you tackle the sub3 :)

  2. I’m so happy for you!!! I will see your invitation to smack you in the event of stupidity as not a joke ;-)

  3. I hear you, sister!! I’m just coming back from a torn plantar fascia. I haven’t dared run more than four miles at a time yet because I’m not 100%, but I ran a dinky little 5K right by my house on Saturday and I loved every step of it!!! You’re so right about an injury renewing an appreciating for running!

  4. I hear you, sister!! I’m just coming back from a torn plantar fascia. I haven’t dared run more than four miles at a time yet because I’m not 100%, but I ran a dinky little 5K right by my house on Saturday and I loved every step of it!!! You’re so right about an injury renewing an appreciation for running!

  5. So happy for you!!! So many exciting things coming up!

  6. I thought I was injured after being slowed down by major pain in a half I ran on New Year’s Eve. After (frustrating) rest for a week and a massage, the muscle pain went away and things have been ok since. But it’s made me feel so much more thankful for the good runs!! I hope any lingering pain disappears and you’re able to run whenever/wherever you want!

  7. I used to live in Reston and loved it. Would love to go back and race there!!

  8. Yaye! This is great news! So glad to hear that the running is going well. Be patient, and you’ll be back at the level you were at before all of this. It really sucks to have to hold back and start small, but you have made so much progress! Good thinking about the Garmin – one reason why I am still hesitant to get one. It’s nice to just run every once in a while and to listen to the body. I keep wondering if I’ll spot you running out on the DC streets one of these days!

  9. Awesome that you’re back at it in a safe and relatively pain free way.

    Feeling similarly here as well, not due to injury but taking my first real offseason, like, ever to try to stave off the mental and physical burnout of racing so much last year. I’m feeling LAME run/bike/swimming as short and slow as I am, but happy to be back at it at all and it’s all part of a master plan…

  10. I see a new 5k PR on our side bar. When did u break 20?

  11. Welcome back to the world of RUNNING!

  12. Welcome back E!
    I so totally know what you mean by the bag packing! I did that every week (Wednesdays are after-work group runs) and hoping and praying fervently for a miracle between the hours of 9am and 6pm just so I could join my friends. Every Wednesday. 3 months. Guess what…I joined the group last week!

  13. How come no-one else is bugging you about the 50m race recap!?! :) Now you’re feeling better, I can take the gloves off and get nagging ;)

  14. I’m with you, Emily–I’m a much better person when I workout. I’m still learning to embrace off days (totally recovery, not “active rest”), so I feel a little “off” (ha!) for that 24-hour time frame.

  15. So glad you are running again!! (for you and those that have to interact with you on a daily basis) :) I noticed your Birch & Barley receipt was time stamped 12:24 PM… how early did you start drinking that day?? Just kidding, I don’t judge. I now aspire to aslo be identified as “runner” on a bar tab.

  16. [...] Holes=being filled, people. [...]

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