1/18/2010

The year in running truly begins

I've been sluggish.
I've been a sloth.
I've been slovenly.
I've slipped.
I've slowly begun the transformation to large man again.

Or have I?

I can report I've taken advantage of my day off to spend 90 minutes under the sun running my first ten-miler in about three months or so. My work schedule ramped up dramatically in August, meaning that I've not had much chance to do long runs. Sunday mornings are my only real opportunity, and I've been too exhausted to go for it. There's also house-cleaning that needs to be done, and I've been choosing to do that instead.

But, today, on a day off, I can clearly say that I've got to figure out a way to engineer distance runs back into my life. There's nothing more satisfying then selecting a distance, coming up with a pace, and then running it, arriving home at all out of breath, and not even particularly tired.

This is what it feels like to be healthy.

There's nothing like the joy I get at key moments along a run in the outdoors. So many things to see in here in the town in which I live. Today I went exploring a bit, doing some research on some areas I'm going to be writing about for Charlottesville Tomorrow. And then I hit the downtown mall, and was delighted at how many people were out and about, taking advantage of this glorious weather. I was happy that I seem to be getting pretty good at estimating distances by sight, using my Garmin to see whether I was right.

This is what it feels like to be the best human I can be.

A year ago, I was running to fill a hole. I was running away from a version of myself that had to be regenerated. I hadn't even run my first race yet, and I was still on the treadmill at Gold's.

A year from now, I have no idea where I'll be. That's not the point, and it wasn't the point back then, either. Instead, the idea was to overcome self-doubt and the panic it would occasionally cause. The idea was to keep one foot moving in front of the other, to push myself further and further. To realize that in any one particular horrendous moments, there are better ones yet to come.

Before I went out today, I really didn't want to go. I've not been doing so well in terms of motivation the past few weeks. Or rather, work and family and work tend to get in the way. The cold is also a downside, though I really don't mind running at the gym for my work-outs.

But, these long runs are something special. I'd not done more than 5 miles outside in a month. Now, I can tick a box and clearly state I'm training for the Charlottesville Ten-Miler and likely the Charlottesville half-marathon.

Now, with two hours before I pick up my kids, I have to figure out a way to become more organized in my life. Things have tended to be haphazard. I crave order. Now that I have a confidence boost that tells me I'm somewhat in shape, maybe I can gain the confidence to organize my life?


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