Rumbled

On December 7th, 2013, I ran the fastest 5k of my life.

And that was pretty much the last time I felt like running.

I threw in a few miles here and there and did a sprint or two for good measure, but it was nothing compared to the mileage or speed I was clocking in the previous couple of years.

I just didn’t feel like running anymore.

It didn’t appeal to me.

So I let myself take a nice, long hiatus and enjoyed some other activities.

Once spring had sprung, I thought the running bug would bite, but it didn’t.

I was having too much fun boating and biking.

Kayak

Boating

And since my dog could no longer tackle long walks with me, my sneaks had pretty much been sidelined.

I tried to run a couple of times during the hiatus, but it was painfully boring and then the three months I spent trying to replace my beloved (and no longer produced) Reebok Real Flex’s resulted in serious “dislike” relationship with a pair of New Balances.

Reeboks

Mentally, I was just kind of over it.

But I didn’t want to be.

wanted to want to run again.

So I went back to a pair of tried and true Brooks running shoes and hit the ground, well, running.

DSCN5200

But then I got rumbled.

RUMBLED:

THE ACT OF BEING HUMBLED BY RUNNING.

It was freakin’ hard.

Like, really hard.

Like, I thought my lungs and my legs were going to explode.

There was no way I was going to make it the planned three miles.

Three miles.

Because three miles was nothing six months ago.

It was a jaunt that barely had me breaking a sweat.

Except now three miles was the death of me.

I felt completely inadequate.

And defeated.

I was never the greatest runner, but this was just sad.

I was mentally beating myself up way harder than any run had  ever hurt me physically.

But then I did some reading and reflecting.

I kindly laughed at myself for thinking that just because I was active for the past  six months, that I would somehow magically retain my running speed and endurance.

I realized that I had to start over.

As in, start from the very beginning.

I had to walk.

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I wanted to get used to being on my feet again so I started walking for 40-60 minutes at a (quite leisurely) pace.

When I started running again, I went for short distances.

The goal was just to start running again-no time or distance goals.

I started slow.

It still hurt.

My lungs hurt.

My legs hurt.

My brain hurt.

But I was kind to myself.

I reminded myself that I have to take it slow so that I can build myself back up again.

The goal became to learn to listen to my breathing and run at a comfortable pace.

It’s  currently about 3 1/2 minutes slower than my previous race pace.

But it’s ok.

I know that if I want to love running again, I have to learn to love the process that it takes to get there.

And I have to tell myself that it’s ok to go slow.

It’s ok to run slow.

As long as I’m able to do the things I want to do, it doesn’t really matter how fast I do them.

It’s a blessing to be able to do them at all.

I’m a work in progress.

In running and in life.

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And for that I am rumbled.

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