Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coming Back to Myself

About eight or nine weeks ago, I started something up again.  I wasn't sure it was going to last, because I've started before - several times, in fact - and I've never gotten very far with it.  It usually only lasts for about a week.  This time, though, it really felt different.  And, even though I still haven't been super-consistent with my routine, I feel really good about this time.

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!!!


Lucky Fresh said...

LG, that's awesome! I'm proud and happy for you!

Sounds like the 1/2 marathon might bring back some of the camaraderie you liked about running in the first place. There is a Runners' Club here, with people who run together. Maybe y'all have one too?

YesSharleen said...

i'm running again, too! (also not very fast or very far) yay!