run like a mother.

Today I ran for the first time in, I don't know, maybe a year. I had always planned to be the pregnant lady who kept running right until labor. But I never imagined I would spend most of my pregnancy in winter snow ice sidewalks. So we bought a cheap elliptical machine that creaked a whole lot, and I caught up on This American Life and several seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

When we finished winter in the southern hemisphere, we moved to northern hem's winter--its wettest winter in years. We walked the hills I used to run up, and I bragged lamented about how fast I used to be. We walked those hills up until the day before I went into labor. I'd even secretly hoped I would have a daytime labor, so we could keep walking those hills--you know to progress said labor. But that wasn't gonna happen, and you can read all about it here if you're interested.

Today S and R dropped me off, so I could run around a busy lake about a seven minutes drive from our apartment. It's a small lake with coots, mallards, baby mallards, and egrets salting a tree-filled island in the middle of the lake. And way too many Canada geese (and their green logs of poop), because people feed them popcorn and wonder bread. (I don't get it at all. Here?)

I ran for 19 minutes, with 2 one-minute-long walk breaks. That's how long it took me to circle the lake, and I wasn't feeling up to circling it again. It did feel great to be out in the morning and to be running again. It was also humbling. We should never compare ourselves to anything, not even ourselves on a different day. Though perhaps that's inevitable.

{i love this pillow and find it highly motivational}
I've been running since just after high school. I started out slow and eventually I was trail running several times a week for up to 90 minutes at a time. (I love trails more than anything, and would prefer to never run on pavement.) Before I had foot surgery several years ago, I was fast. I wasn't breaking any records. But, for me, I felt fast. And I guess I loved my speed. I liked overtaking fast, unsuspecting runners--especially up hill. (Um, competitive much?)

After my foot surgery, a friend asked if I would train for a marathon with her. Sure, why not? She introduced me to walk breaks, which I was a big snot about... because real runners don't walk! (Ugh, see what I mean? This is when competition can be unpretty.) I ran the marathon a bit below my capability, but I was doing it for fun. Then I had some incidents, which put a dent in my running for about a year, and I slowed down quite a bit.

Then I started traveling and didn't really start running again until I settled in one place for a while. (I was running in a more metaphorical sense.) A couple years ago I trained for another marathon with a friend in Patagonia. We'd planned on running the Maraton Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia, Argentina, reached 20 miles in our training (taking walk breaks, which I now highly recommend for long distances more than 19 minutes), and found out it was canceled. I think I broke my foot around about this time. But the end of the marathon took the steam out of my running again. I still ran and biked, but much more sporadically.

{i hope to work my way up to this}
Today I ran humbly for 19 minutes. And better-dressed runners passed me during my walk breaks. The sun made my shadow long. On the far side of the lake, I could see S wearing R in the carrier bouncing on the pier. I breathed in new air and remembered what I was missing. Maybe tomorrow I'll run for 20 minutes, maybe 30.

Do you have a favorite solo activity that takes your breath away?


Arctic Mum said...

Hi, I like to run too. Once I get this baby out (and she has grown a bit) I'll start on running again. In dark autumn evenings.

Hollie said...

aww, yay for you! it took me awhile to fall in love with running, but now, it's my escape.

Anonymous said...

Does drinking latte count? I mean, let's face it, it's quite an exercise for the arms!

Bicycling for fun is my thing. As long as someone wants to bicycle fast they can count me out.

Have a wonderful long weekend and Happy Fourth July!

bron @ baby space said...

Yay for running again! My bestie was a die hard runner (and now a die hard Bikram girl) and while I do like my yoga, at the moment walking, walking, walking around our local Centennial Park does it for me. Great for the preggo belly too. Ok, off to walk now :)

Signe said...

Hihi, I'm with Lisa on this one!
All I ever do for exercise is hiking on the mountains around here. It is a slow endurance sort of training, but I love the nature. And we don't have a car so we have to bike to the store, town, whatever.
That's enough for me :)


Faiza said...

if i was running by you i'd totally high five you as we passed each other!

Marz said...

Yay for you and getting back to running again. I'm slowly finding my way back to running again too. I have always wanted to run a half marathon and was doing pretty good in my training. Then my running buddy got pregnant and then the weather became much too hot here in Texas and then I went on vacations and just slowly stopped making time for it. I'm like you and always thought I have to run straight and not take any walking breaks in between. You saying you recommend it actually makes me feel better and I might allow myself to do that. Keep it up and I'm sure you'll be back to speed in no time! :) Who knows, maybe I'll do the same and finally be able to say I ran a half marathon :)

Jenny said...

Well done, Dear! Let's pick a race to run together. For fun! : )
Love love

Di said...

Well done you! It's always slow to start with - I ran this morning too but only about 2.5 miles - slipped on the stairs on Monday night and had a sore ankle so just wanted to test it out - it was fine. My running buddy was taking part in the Corrieyairack Challenge today (she's truly mad) - she ran 17 miles up a mountain road and then cycled 26. It's the 11th time she's done it! I run hills with her occassionally....but hate it! Tomorrow is a run at Tentsmuir - beach/forest - that I love!

Krystal said...

iiii really need to start running again, i haven't gone in a month!! i feel awful. it was interesting to read about your running experience...i always like hearing others stories about their love affairs with running :)

Krystal said...

p.s. i hope you had a good 4th w/e :):)

Bella @Bellgetsreal said...

I have a love/hate relationship with running. i think I can run but everytime I try I run like Phoebe from Friends. now nobody wants to see that.

Monica {bohemian twilight} said...

"We should never compare ourselves to anything, not even ourselves on a different day."

loved this. utterly true.

as far as physical activities, i would say walking. long long meandering walks. can't remember last time i managed that. clears my emotions, gives my head space to process my 100000000 thoughts, connects me with nature.....

Samantha Schroeder said...

Congrats on getting your running shoes on! I use to run and it always made me feel amazing! Maybe I should follow your lead, and get my run back on! {i am a mother, anyhow} xo Samantha


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