My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
I took a ten day break from running, mostly due to the fact that we were driving 3,500 km and trying to get it done in a reasonable amount of time. You might think we’d make a vacation of traversing the United States of America instead of rushing through, but it’s hard to live out of a suitcase with two kids and a dog. The best place for us is in Canada and any time I spend running is time not spent driving, and it’s therefore out of the question. I already know what you are thinking: “Just run behind the car for a while.” Yeah, right! American police totally dig pedestrians on the interstate system.
We finally got settled into our summer accommodations this past Saturday, but an uncharacteristic low pressure system went through along the southern Lake Erie shoreline. It dumped anywhere from 20-60 mm of rain depending on the location, and winds were gusting up to 70 km/hour. It also plunged the temperature to a ridiculously unseasonable 14 degrees Celsius. I did not come prepared for that in the way of winter running gear, and so I waited. The rain eased off Sunday morning, and though chilly, I was feeling pretty bad for my running hiatus, so I suited up. My bad hand was both rigid and frigid, but it survived.
The run itself varied from feeling like, “Oh my goodness, who do I think I am?” to periods of euphoria and elation: “Yes! I am back on the attack, boom-shack-a-lack.” I am not sure where I thought I would be with nutrition, health, fitness, and wellbeing now, having started “living right” back in March 2013, but I am definitely not wherever that is. I thought I’d be thin, rich, and beautiful, or at least back to my “normal size,” and possibly looking like a shiny, healthy 20-something. The fact of the matter is, that doesn’t happen, or at least it hasn’t for me.
Nutrition and fitness goals, at some point, have to become the norm because there is no endpoint. I am currently working through my feelings associated with this reality; what is my source of motivation beyond the reasons I started? I haven’t had a goal race since April 26, and as it happens, our summer accommodations are smack dab in the middle of a racing dead zone. Despite the presence of a Running Room in town nothing is doing in the way of a race, not even on Canada Day. Having driven 3,500 km it would be ridiculous to drive to races during my short summer vacation when they happen almost every weekend where I live in Mexico. I might as well wait to race.
So, my running regularly has to transcend weight loss goals and goal races, it has to be a lifestyle, and I am coming around to this idea. For example, with Run Chat Hunt almost drawing to a close, I should have run again this morning, but I had other obligations and so I didn’t. I have a bit of guilt now, but I can try again tonight to be in the mood to run. Being in the mood to run has to be part of the equation, because if I force myself to do it when it is not enjoyable I will soon stop altogether. I think I ran myself into disliking it during my April run streak. Getting sick didn’t help either.
Yesterday morning’s run is the cool Canadian air, with a light mist, and on one of the most beautiful university campuses I happen to know, was a great start towards running enjoyment. Here’s hoping for more runs like that!