You see, I've started running again. For those of you who've known me a long time, you remember that I ran in high school and college. I was not outstanding or anything, but I was decent. And I enjoyed it. But mostly, I enjoyed the camaraderie, the sunshine, and, in the fall, the great cross-country courses. After college, I let myself get out of the habit.
In retrospect, I think I was more burned out than anything. But I never got back into it. Over the years, I've tried to start up again, and every time, I got very discouraged. I was not running at any sort of level I would recognize as acceptable, and I was pretty tough on myself. After a few failed attempts to start running again, I finally decided that a "no-pressure" approach, where I just encouraged myself to run, no matter how slowly or briefly, would be my best bet. Even that didn't work at first.
A couple of months ago, for some reason, I started having running dreams. This is generally a harbinger of something that generally gets me to running again. The dreams were pretty persistent, and pretty soon I found myself wanting to go for a run. So, finally, I tried again. This time there is still no pressure, but I have set some little goals for myself. The first few times, it was just to run half a mile without stopping. Now, I can do that in my sleep - it's a minimum expectation, even if I haven't run in several days. Generally, if I can get to a half-mile, I can go the full mile and maybe even more.
Believe me, I'm still no speed demon. I'm only up to a couple of miles. My body still does not even remotely resemble a runner's body. But for the first time in probably a decade, I sense that my "inner runner" has come out to play for good. And, for a change, I am feeling good when I run, even if I'm not going super-fast or for a very long run. It's a joyous change. And, I feel pretty sure it's a permanent change.
We'll see what the next few months bring. For one thing, there's a 1/2-marathon in town sometime in September, and I actually think I'll enter. My goal will simply be to finish. Come cheer me on - or better yet, come run with me!!!