Posts Tagged ‘run’

  There it is! The first 5K Since December of 2010… and the 2nd race post-ankle surgery. Words cannot begin to explain how amazing it feels to FINALLY feel great running again. My ankle has been a little swollen here and there but other than that no problems with my left foot. On the other hand, there have been several evenings where I’ve slept with 4 or 5 ice packs to try to relax my knees, my tail bone, and my back. But regardless of the pills and the pain, I DON’T CARE! To be in a race and be able to run hills for 3.1 miles at an 11:20/min pace is indescribable. I forgot (albeit, momentarily) how great it feels to run.

Andrew so graciously got up early on Sunday (after being up early on Saturday too!) and drove me to the race location (in DC). He brought along Franklin and they weren’t allowed in the cemetery but he got up early and drove me there anyway! I checked in and hung around with the boys until it drew close to start time. We parted ways and I thought, ugh, how am I going to do this. I walked through the gates and into a mess of people- none of whom I knew. I started thinking why am I doing this? Maybe this isn’t for me anymore… maybe I need to find something else, some other line of fitness. That’s when it happened. The man on the speaker started talking about the history of the cemetery and the race. I stretched and looked up at the absolutely gorgeous weather (sunny and 60s). I looked around and heard people laughing and smiling and stretching and I felt the bodies press up against me as everyone crowded the start line. Right there. That instant. Knowing that about 1,000 people had traveled by foot, bike, car, and metro to a cemetery in Southeast DC at 8:00AM on a Sunday morning… JUST TO RUN a 3.1 mile route with a bunch of complete strangers. That right there is why I run. That is why I have struggled through ankle surgery and weight gain and now trying to make it through weight loss. Because of the feeling I get surrounded by countless people I’ve never met and may never see again… just to go for a run. We are a special breed, we runners. We’d put up with anything- sleet, rain, snow (I’ve been there), sun, clouds, crowds, over-flowing portapotties, rotten bananas, cold pretzels, water, gatorade, gels…not to mention aches, pains, sprains, fractures, sweat, tears, and screams just for the thrill of crossing a finish line.

One of the greatest things about running is that even though there is competition going on, everyone’s on the same team. After you cross the finish line, you shake hands, give hugs, talk about what you did differently that cut a second or two off your time… and the greatest part? After the race, the people who were faster than you, they stick around, they walk down the path you’re still struggling to make your way up and they cheer for you. They clap, the yell, they motivate– even if they beat your pace by 6 minutes/mile, they are your equal. They get it and they get that you get it. And for the amount of time it takes to complete the race, everything in the world is right. There is nothing that could bring you down. Not one thing.

And that my friends, is the runner’s high.

The battle between sleep and exercise is epic. It’s constant, it’s mean, it’s stressful, it’s wrong. I’m not saying you need to give up sleeping for exercise. no no no. I’m saying, given that you get a decent night’s sleep and you like to work out in the morning because really, who has the time or energy to workout after work? Yet somehow, when that alarm goes off, you think of 100, no 1000 reasons for not getting out of bed at that moment. Oh, I’ll just snooze once, I’ll fee better. Oh, I’ll just close my eyes for a minute, really what’s the difference between 5:30 and 5:45AM? It’s a blogroll of reasons… inevitably if you don’t get up when you planned, your morning schedule will be screwed up. Something will have to get cut- either the length of your work out, your shower, or your sit-down hot breakfast. AHHHH!

The worst part is, after you get out of bed, wash your face, put your contacts in, throw on some running clothes, lace up your sneakers, and plug in your headphones to your iphone, ipod, mp3, etc. it’s as if you just chugged a cup of coffee. The energy is there, somewhere underneath the cobwebs.

You take a deep breath, you lock the door behind you, you hit the pavement, walking at first to loosen up, then taking off on a jog, music up, cool breeze, and the day still dark. Somehow over the next 20, 30, 40, 60, however many minutes you choose to devote to running, you go from sleepiness to frustration with your pace to anger with your soreness to gasping for breath to slowing down to speeding up and finally, at long last, to a great big smile. That’s right, you got up early, you went for a run, you’re back and you have time to shower, cook breakfast, sit down and eat it and still be out the door to make it to work on time. If the rest of the day is a failure, it doesn’t matter, because you accomplished more before 8AM then most people do by Noon. Congratulations!

Well, as you can probably guess, I got up early this morning. I fought with myself and in the end, my extra pudge convinced me that I needed to get up. I went for a jog, got in about 1.5 miles. It hurt, but as usual, in the end I was ecstatic that I got up and the shower and breakfast made it all worth it! So just remember, push through the sleeping in and exercise!