Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Hard Runs

Running isn't all rainbows, unicorns, and lollipops. There are days when running is brutal, like today. It's March 29th and the temperature was in the low 40s for most of the day with a ridiculous windchill. The winter months are ruthless to me, I hate the feeling of being cold more than anything. Hints why I haven't posted to my blog in a very long time. During the frosty months, I turn into a gym runner, which means I dwindle down to about 3 miles a run, maybe 6 on the weekends and blast Pandora in my headphones to keep me going. So today's run was raw, painful, and bleak, it happens that way sometimes.

There's a point in most every run that I have, where I stop bitching to myself about how tired, sore, or cold that I am and relax into my run. Normally it takes me about a mile or two to shut up and run. I call this process, "settling into my run". In reality, it's probably just my runner's high kicking in. Today, it literally took me 7 miles to settle. 

This woman is one of my heros. Her name is Hyvon Ngetich, she is an elite runner.  Ngetich made the news a couple months back at the Austin marathon when she collapsed at the 23 mile mark. She refused to get in a wheelchair and literally crawled to the finish line.

About two miles in, I had to find a bathroom. Then I spent about 3 miles crying to myself and yelling into the wind, "Why is it to $#@!ing cold outside!?" I convinced myself that instead of my scheduled 12 miles, I would just run 10 and call it a day. Who cares if I have training to do!? At about 6.5 miles, the tears and whining had stopped. I started saying my life-mantra, the Serenity Prayer, which I say to myself when things are particularly rough. I repeated it to myself as I ran up a hellacious hill. 

Then, I hit the 7 mile mark. I started to calm and feel a bit warmer. I decided I'd push myself and turn around to go home at about 7.5 miles that would put me almost back up to my scheduled 12 miles. The rest of the run, I was in a daze. I made it 12 miles today and that was a victory.

Although there are days when I want to do anything and everything but strap on my tennis shoes. Running is my medicine. Sure, there are side effects like soreness, fatigue, complaining, sunburn, chaffing, stomach issues, etc. But once the running kicks in there is nothing like the feeling I get from a long run. I feel strong, happy, healthy and afterwards I drift into a numb peace. That's why I run.


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