Monday, January 28, 2013

Running Humble, But RUNNING!!!!

It has been almost ten weeks since I have run.  If you do not count the run I did the day before I gave birth, it has been 20 weeks since I have run.  It has  been 50 weeks since running without a baby inside me and 60 weeks of running non-competitively.  That is a loooonnnnnggg time to be away from something you have gotten used to doing every week for years on end.  So you can imagine my excitement when two and a half weeks ago I was cleared by my midwife to exercise.  And you can also imagine my dismay when I called my PT/coach and he told me that I was sidelined to weights and elliptical training for an additional two weeks before I could run.

Ok, so I never ever ever disobey my coach, but this weekend I went here

Yup, outside in the warm Florida air!

to celebrate with some beautiful ladies on the eve of a very special gal's wedding

The bride and I

and left my extraordinary husband home with the baby and the puppy while I partied and basked in the sun. Yes, I know I have an amazing husband, commence being jealous now.

They did fun stuff that was educational too 

Anyway, back to the point, I know I said I never ever disobey my coach but when you have not really truly run in 60 weeks and you are in freaking FLORIDA and it is beautiful out and you have a three mile loop outside your front door and the indoor gym does not have the elliptical you want, then what can you really do?  Can you blame me for was clearly utterly impossible not too. I know so many women postpartum who are back runnings days or just a few weeks post giving birth, I waited almost 10 weeks... I think that is a great amount of patience...right?

How could I not go outside in this weather

So the actual run itself.  I would love to tell you it was incredible.  That I settled into my old 5k pace of low 7s and passed every runner out there.  I would love to say that I was not winded, that nothing hurt, and that it was like I had never been away.  But seriously, I just got finished telling you that I have not truly run in 60 weeks, how do you think those 3 miles went?!? They HURT - HURT LIKE HELL and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.  Ok, I did not love that I got a side cramp at Mile .25, that I was gripping with my toes, that I had to use my iPhone for music, that my shoulders and arms hurt, and that I was as red as I was when running a 5k at super speed.  But I did love that I was out there, feeling like myself again, bllasting my favorite pump up playlist, passing some people (albeit people who were walking), soaking up the sun and just doing what I love, running.

The run was 3 looong miles.  It took me 28-30 minutes.  I wanted to run like the wind, I wanted to move fast, but my body just physically could not. I mentally could not believe how long 3 miles felt!  When I saw the mile marker for Mile 1, I was in utter disbelief. How could I have only run one mile?!?! And by Mile 2 I was pretty much convinced I had gotten lost or already passed my starting point because how could I have not gone three miles by now?!?  But ultimately, slow or not, I made it and when I got there, well I had a little dance party because I just ran three miles!!!!

Yay for the return of sweaty running pictures!

Regardless of whether this run took 20 minutes or 30 minutes, it meant so much to me.  It reminded me of my love for running.  It let me be myself and just let go.  And alas it was also incredibly humbling.  At one point in my running career, running 3 miles in 30 minutes would have been a walk in the park.  Yesterday, it was incredibly difficult.  I had to work extremely hard to make it that far. It reminded me that I have a long way to go to get back to where I am.  But I WILL get there.  I will train hard, I will run fast, and I will have the time of my life getting there.

Have you ever had to come back from taking a break from running?  Is it difficult to get back into it? How do you handle it?