Sunday, July 11, 2010

c'mon ride the train

I've hesitated to update my blog for some time because every time I sat down to write anything, it turned into a bitch-fest. Now I'm back and I confess that I've been riding the pity party train, with envy at the helm and spewing a black cloud of misery out the smokestack.

What happened, I see now, is that I got burnt out after moving, and my body was simply rebelling against running. Over the past few weeks though, I've been paying too much attention to how dedicated other runners seem to their routines, thinking that something was really wrong with me that I couldn't muster the energy or drive to just commit to the miles. I mean, these are people who have several kids, organize races and run for causes, have jobs, AND train for marathons/triathlons/adventure relays. What right do I have even considering myself a part of any community with such capable people, when I struggle to drag myself out of bed before dawn to run 4 miles?

I didn't want to log on and dump all of that negativity here, but there it is.

I had to clear my head. Something wasn't right with my thinking and my husband would be the first to tell you that he'd more than had it with my self-deprecating talk. I needed to get back in the game, and I wasn't going to do it by reading fellow runners' blogs or Facebook posts and trying to compare running log notes.

I had to just run.

Thursday, July 8th. My car's thermometer stares me down with a bright red "103". My husband is watching the baby and I have a date with a 10K course that winds along the cart paths near Lake Peachtree. Still, I'm very excited. This is my first run since moving here that was:

A) Without my darling running partner.
B) Without my other darling running partner.
C) More than 5 miles.
D) More than 5 miles and not on a treadmill.

Just me, myself and I and, oh yeah, the highest temps I've ever run in.

It wasn't a great run by any means. I stopped every mile to gulp from my water bottle. I stopped at a water fountain and awkwardly positioned myself to let the water stream down my neck and back. But it did do one thing that no amount of self-affirmation in the bathroom mirror could have done. (Not that I've ever done that. Ever.) It reassured me that I was, in fact, still a runner. I mean, who else was out there? Other runners, that's who. All of them as red-faced and dripping with sweat as I was. All of us looking forward to the moment they could return to air conditioning. And I'm willing to bet, all of us as grateful to be healthy enough to withstand such an activity on this, the hottest day so far this summer, and still be crazy enough to look forward to doing it all over again tomorrow.

My runs are not funding cancer research or helping unborn children. I'm not crossing the country for anyone's benefit or memory. Let me be clear in saying that all of those things are wonderful and incredibly admirable, I'm just not there yet. Maybe once running and I have a more solid and reliable relationship, I can safely sign up for events and do great things for greater people and know that I'll always be able to put the miles in to make the effort worth it.

For now, though, I'm looking forward to running a bit more on my own. For me. Because I can. Because I'm a runner.