I have to tell you about my run on Friday. Don’t worry, this isn’t an “I ran 28 miles on Friday morning, how crazy is that?” kind of story. Rather, this is something of a love story, or maybe a “We renewed our vows” story. Let me start by setting the scene:
Last week was my second week post-50K, and I planned to do some running – easy, casually, and as I felt inclined. Then, I got bowled over by cross-training:
1. Tuesday was a public holiday, and so there were special classes at the gym. I opted for yoga and an extended cardio/strength combo class. Both awesome, but involved nothing more than a few quick laps around the cardio studio.
2. Run With Holly will be leading some group runs from the newly opened Lululemon East Coast Showroom, so I spent a day or two meeting and doing a bit of yoga with the lovely ladies who own and manage the shop.
3. I’m in the final phase of RPM instructor training: Team-Teaching. I spent a lot of time last week on the spin bike – shadowing, practicing, and teaching.
Still, when Thursday rolled around, I said to KMN, “Wow. Despite all the spinning and everything that I’ve been doing, my legs feel AWESOME. I can squat so much weight in BodyPump, and my legs have been feeling really fresh on the bike, too!”
As the words were coming out of my mouth, I had my ‘DUH’ moment: That’s what happens when I’m running 15-20 miles per week, rather than 40+ miles per week, on top of all that other stuff. Right.
And so I started thinking. “Hmm…maybe I could get used to this. I love how fresh my legs feel for other activities. I’m getting plenty of exercise, both strength & cardio. Maybe it’s time to *gasp* dial back the running a tad.”
For a few hours, that actually sounded like a reasonable idea (nevermind the fact that I just spent the last 8 months building my base up to 40+ miles per week). I didn’t make any firm decisions, but I was toying with taking a little running reduction to focus on some other activities for awhile.
So that was my state of mind on Friday morning. Now we can cut to the actual story:
On Friday morning, a felt like I might want to go for a run. I didn’t have plans to spin that day, so I figured it would be a good day to test out my knee with a short run. So I rolled out of bed and put on my running clothes. But life got in the way, and I tended to emails, phone calls, chores, etc…and before I knew it, the clock said 4 PM. I was substantially less enthused about the idea of running at 4 PM than I had been early that morning. But I had evening plans, and 4 PM was my “now or never” moment of truth.
So I pretended that it wasn’t the hottest part of the day. I put on my sunglasses, threw on my sneakers, grabbed my house key and headed out the door. And do you know what happened next?
I didn’t care that it was hot. I didn’t care that the sun was beating down. I didn’t care about the traffic. I didn’t care that I opted to forgo a shirt, and was making a slight spectacle of myself by running in just shorts and a bra top (pretty uncommon in Singapore).
I just ran.
I felt the breeze on my face (and stomach)!
I felt like I could really breathe – my lungs felt enormous and open.
I felt grounded, as my feet connected and pushed off the pavement.
I felt open, and free, and ready to fly.
I felt relaxed.
I felt release.
I felt endorphins.
I felt alive.
I felt freaking awesome.
And I was reminded – for the millionth time – why I run. [Incidentally, why are we humans so forgetful, that we still need reminders of really obvious things?] And just like that, my plans to dial back my running were dismissed. I wondered how I could even contemplate such craziness!
So what if I have to hold my Warrior poses with trembling legs? So what if my legs burn a little extra as I lead my class through a hill track? So what if my alarm clock goes off at 5 AM for 10 miles? So what if I have to sneak in hot afternoon miles on the days I ignore the alarm clock? I don’t even care. I just don’t care. Let me run. I
want to need to run.
Of course, there is a time and place for everything. There are seasons of my life when I run more, and some when I run less. If I am genuinely and truly burnt out, I do turn away for awhile. But I always find myself drawn back. I can’t help it. I can’t resist it. My sneakers, my Garmin, “my” trails…they call my name. They draw me in, they send me outside, and they give back to me ten times more than what I give them.
“Real” raw cookie dough, “Safe” raw cookie dough, pre-processed cookie dough nibs, or “Bake my cookies please”?
Runners: When was your last “jump up and down screaming ‘I love running!'” (on the inside, or the outside) moment?
What’s calling your name today?
[Coffee, blogging, the spin studio, and possibly BodyAttack.]