Sunday, April 7, 2013

Diary of a Relapsed Runner

at 10:45 AM
Running isn't a hobby. It's a lifestyle. It's the way you eat, the way you move, the way you think.

I became a runner my freshman year. Lizzie dragged me over to the Cross Country sign-up sheet and told me I was joining. "I am?" I asked. "You are," said my dad. And that was that.

I stopped running after a series of excuses in college. After getting bronchitis two years in a row, I cracked and sprained a ribs from coughing. My allergies were getting worse each year. And I got out of shape.

But my soul is a runner. My heart longs to run. I kept sporadically attempting to, but while my legs adored the movement, my lungs rebelled.

This time, I'm not giving in to them.

Thursday I spent some manic energy going for a run. I set myself a goal (I can't run without one). I chose the elementary school nearby me. I would run through my neighborhood, around the school, and back.

I downloaded the Nike+ app.

I put in music.

And I ran.

Nike+ says it was 2 miles and that I did it in about 22 minutes. Not too bad for not having run 2 miles in over 5 years, I think.

I was listening to Ryanhood (an amazing band I learned about in Tucson!)  Their music is mellow, which was good for just starting out, and their songs are loooooong which keeps you going.

My problem is that I'm not a distance runner. I never was. I did CC for 2 1/2 years, but Track for 4. My love was hurdles. My legs enjoy a sprint. My fastest CC races (@7 minute miles) were not when I ran the entire time. I do this sprint/power walk thing. I just always have.

I felt like crap after the run. Then I soaked in the tub. The next day I was busy, and ended up out dancing with Lauren. In heels. Morning after, my body was rebelling. But the ache was familiar. I knew that no amount of stretching would help as much as just running again.

So I did. I ran the same course. My time was longer this time, but my pacing was better. I was able to run slower, but longer. As much as I love sprinting, it won't help my lungs get back into shape. More mellow music helped me keep my breathing even. I was able to run longer before stopping. I still ached. But the sweet part about my apartment complex? I was able to jump into the pool afterwards! That felt amazing.

I signed up for a race in May with Lauren. It's at night, with black lights and glow sticks, followed by a dance. I'm pretty psyched.


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