It seems like a lifetime ago that running felt effortless and easy. When a hard pace left me feeling tired, but happy. It was only a few weeks, but it seems like a different time. That sounds a little overly dramatic, but when you have to slow down, or stop in order to nurse an injury, coming back seems harder than starting fresh did.
My injury (this time) was minor. Just a lower back thing, cared for diligently by my wonderful chiropractor. Then, just as I started getting better, Gary & I went on a short dive trip on a live aboard that’s only about a hundred feet long. So, no running there. I came back with a minor sinus thing going on, and while we were away, summer arrived here in South Mississippi, so hot and muggy are the words of the day. Which led me to put off rebooting my running for a few more days. Now, though, it’s time to begin. Again.
I started slowly over the weekend. Just two short, slow, warm miles. Then another two the next day. Biking on Tuesday (also painfully slow), off a day, then four slow, warm miles this morning. My goal is to slowly build back my miles over the next couple of months, then maybe, just maybe, introduce some speed work in mid August. We’ll see. It’s awfully hot here in August, and speed and heat don’t go together well. It’s back to obscenely early mornings, which lead to very early nights (as though I didn’t already go to bed with the chickens).
But, I have to say, even with the challenge of the heat, I’m feeling more than blessed this day to be starting again. And, I know, that, God willing, there will be many more times in my life that I have to begin. Again and again. I have a young running friend whose life was changed a couple of months ago by a cardiac event, followed by severe brain trauma. I don’t know what God has planned for him, but I hope it includes beginning again. Right now, that’s looking doubtful, but our God is still in the miracle business, and I know a lot of people are praying for this God-filled young man and his sweet wife, so I’m hopeful. His name is Terrod, so add him and his wife, Nikki, to your prayers. You can get updates on his progress here.
The summer is lending itself to a slower, more thoughtful time for me this year. Our air conditioning is out (on the hottest days of the year, so far), so I’m moving slowly at home, but I’m finding I kind of like that. And, I’m even getting somewhat used to the heat. After lunch yesterday, I decided I had had enough of work in my hot little corner, I put on my bathing suit, and went to swim at my sister’s where my daughter, nieces, and nephew were playing in the pool. I enjoyed that little respite so much, I may have to repeat it today. How often, as “grown-ups”, do we allow ourselves time to just do nothing? Just be with our loved ones and enjoy their company? It’s rare for me, and I would venture to say, for most adults – especially those who are self-employed. It feels like the wolf is always at the door, and we have to move productively all the time in order to keep him at bay. I think I’m going to just break down and invite the wolf to come on in, put his feet up, and have some dinner. As hot as it is in my house right now, he won’t stay long anyway.
As I begin my training, again, I want to keep in mind the reasons that I run. The joy that running brings to my life is the most important one. All the other reasons fall in line behind that one. So, I think, beginning again in the heat of the summer is probably the best time for me. It forces me to not worry about speed, or weight loss, or clicking off a certain number of miles per week, and to just enjoy the journey.