On the Run

On The Run: Guess who’s Back?

-cue Eminem’s “Without Me”- Guess who’s back, back again?

After running the Great Race 10K proved that my body can, in fact, still do the whole running thing, I decided to work my way slowly back into a routine before starting to train in earnest for the Flying Pig Half-Marathon in 2020.

I put my deferral code to good use and registered for the 2020 race. Friends, it was not easy. I felt fearful and futile and small as I filled out the form, not fully believing my body would let me be ready next May. Fearing that I would have to defer again, an endless loop until I finally let the race fees go to race and the dream die.

But I did it anyway. Because that’s fear talking. That’s the old voice that whispers “You’re a quitter. You give up. That’s what you DO.”

Didn’t we fight this battle back in 2018 with the whole “become a runner” thing? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too. But so it goes–the same old cycle, our patterns of thought and habits come back again and again.

My training plan starts in January, but I wanted to get back up to my former fitness level first. Because it’s scary and feels new and different now that my body is doing what it does, I decided to give myself the gift of guidance.

I’m running along to the Run, Selfie, Repeat Podcast’s Guided Run series with Badassladygang guru herself, Kelly Roberts. Kelly is one of the women who shifted the dialogue around running online, proving that runners and strength don’t have to look any certain way. That you can be a badass running an 11:30min/mile pace. That what matters is showing up. 

I’m an avid listener to this podcast, so I was a little bummed when the regular episodes took a back seat to the guided runs that, at the time, were way below the distances and intervals I was running at the time. I missed hearing Kelly’s goofy pep talks and stories. I didn’t expect I’d ever go back and listen to a set of runs designed to get you ready to run a 5K. Run a 5K, I thought? I can do that in my sleep.

Except that sometimes it’s hard to get out the door and start over when you know you’ve lost fitness beneath the barrage of doctors appointments and medication and exhaustion and unexplained, unresolved pain.

So I found that first guided run and I pressed play. And then I did it again. And a third time, running through the dimly lit streets full of Halloween decorations that spooked me from time to time (these people get IN to Halloween).

I’m not posting my pace along with my pictures anymore. Not yet. I’m letting myself feel my way back into what running means, what running is. Pushing past the fear that my body is giving up on me, on this new passion of mine.

I’m only a week back in to regular running, and the intervals are different than what I’m used to. But it feels so, so good to pull out my old #runbeforethesun hashtag and to lace up my shoes and go. Explore my new neighborhood, explore the way running feels in my body now.

I can’t promise myself I won’t get injured this cycle, or that my health issues won’t come roaring back. But I can promise to give my all, to take good care with yoga and cross training to prevent injury. To learn the difference between “listen to your body” and “listen to your unfounded fear and panic.”

In 2020, my body and the Universe willing, I will run my half marathon. But until 2020 comes, I’m just getting to know an old friend once again.


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