Sunday, September 21, 2008

I've Lost that Lovin' Feeling...and Found it Again (Maybe)

I started running because I was trying to move through a terrible breakup and was so filled with angst and hurt and rage that I had to do something to detoxify my psyche. It was either running or throwing plates in the driveway. And throwing plates wasn't going to give me shapely calves, so I picked running.

The first time I did 6 miles, I was astonished. I never would have thought I was capable of making it around the Rose Bowl. Twice. I couldn't believe that I didn't drop dead that night.

Nine months later, I completed a half marathon. Also something I never thought I'd do. I walked at various points during that race. And when I finished in 2 hours and 32 minutes I thought, I can do way better than that. I can definitely improve my time.

When the opportunity to join some friends in the Nike Women's race came up, I agreed to participate...although I'd lost the fire in my belly. The thought of devoting my Saturdays to long runs and forcing myself to get in miles during the week just didn't sound so fun anymore. It sounded like a big fat burden.

I didn't have the adrenaline-laced anger pulsing inside me like I did when I started to run. I had a boyfriend who I liked to sleep in with and drink lattes with on weekend mornings. I had blogs to write and freelance work to complete. Shoes and groceries to buy. A toilet and a Prius to clean. Yes folks, I would rather clean the toilet Saturday morning than run.

That is, until yesterday. I was absolutely dreading the 9.5 mile run through Los Feliz that my race buddy and I had planned. As we completed it, I developed raw spots on my shoulderblades where my CamelBak bounced and rubbed against me; my running buddy and I got lost; we had to walk up most of the hills because they were so steep; I thought multiple times that I Just Wanted It To Be Over.

But somehow through the pain and suffering, I found a little spark of love again. And as much as I was wishing for a helicopter rescue or a torn hammie that would enable me to stop in my tracks, I was also enjoying knowing that I was doing 9.5 miles. So next weekend, I'm going to do it again. I might even be looking forward to it a smidge...

16 comments:

Michael C said...

That is so very cool that you can run that distance. I'm trying to get my running distance up and am NOWHERE near your distance. I guess I now have 2 choices:

1. Feel spurred into action and inspiration by your accomplishments.
2. Live, I mean run, vicariously through you.

Yep, I'm choosing number 2!!

Semicharmed said...

You are my hero. I'm so glad that you found your love again, I hope someday I can get to that point.

laura said...

Congratulations!!! If you're interested in joining me...i'm doing a half marathon in Huntington Beach Feb. 1(Super Bowl Sunday!)...they serve beer at the end... :) Also training for NYC Marathon in 2009!!! So...i'm with you all the way...it's a lot to give up your weekends...but worth it at the end. Are you doing the Nike Women's half in San Fran??? That's supposed to be awesome!!

Good luck to you...can't wait to hear your progress.

The Coconut Diaries said...

You runners amaze me. I used to volunteer at the Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego and watch these runners with bloody nipples who just did it. For fun. I don't get, but I will applaud you from afar and be there to hand you Dixie cups of tepid water as you go.

Nilsa S. said...

Oh, I hear ya on this post. Loud and clear! It's likely why I stopped marathon training years ago. Though, based on my very limited running recently, I'm thinking a 1/2 marathon next year would be an awesome goal!

geekhiker said...

I never could run well. And with the knees getting worse as I get older, it doesn't hold a lot of appeal for me.

But I know how you feel about the fire going out of one's belly. Although, admittedly, that seems to apply to just about anything I try to do right now!

Amy Turpin said...

I used to run,too, but like so many others, my knees are older than the rest of my body (damn gymnastics), so I don't do it much anymore. I did pick up mountain biking when Mike and I were dating, though, and immediately fell in love with it. When I was pregnant with J, I had to give that up, obviously, and after he was born, I did a lot more hiking than biking cuz I could bring the little man along. This past spring, though, the fire was rekindled by a short ride down a trail and I was hooked again. I tried to go at least once a week, and I could feel the HUGE smile on my face everytime I bombed down the hill after an ass-kicking climb. Now that I'm pregnant again, I've had to give it up again, but I'll be damned if I wait as long this time to get back on my bike and ride!!

L said...

Woo hoo! :)

Sizzle said...

I don't think I will ever be a runner (very bad knees) but I can relate to being fueled by anger. That's what got me walking miles!

Mandy said...

Total awesomeness.

Mel Heth said...

Michael - I wish I could run vicariously through someone too! Even though the route we chose was pretty, it was a LONG haul...and I have to do it again...

Semichrmd - Thank you! Hero makes me feel very special. If I can get to that point, you can too!

Laura - You're doing a FULL?! Holy crap. You're crazy! :) I thought about doing the Huntington half last year actually. I'll let you know...let me see how burnt I am after this race.

Coconut - Ummm bloody nipples...not so much. I will never be a kamikaze runner like that! Thank you for watering runners, though, we need people like you!

Nilsa - If you want to come do a 1/2 in LA, I'll run it with ya. :)

Geekhiker - Seriously, I would take hiking over running ANY day. And I hear ya on the knees. Thankfully mine have been holding up quite well this time.

Amy - I want to get back into mountain biking too! Mr. W actually just bought a new bike so hopefully we'll start riding together. How are you feeling preggers, btw?

l - Thanks.

Sizzle - It's amazing what a motivator anger is! I guess in a sense it can be a good thing...although I'd rather be happy and eating ice cream at home than angry and running. :P

Mandy - After the fact, yes. During the runs, not so much. :)

Lara said...

I *heart* you. I wish I could get that feeling back. It felt good when I was marathon training...but I can't seem to find the motivation here in Stinky Town. You rock!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Running bites. Good job finding some motivation. I am so sick of my four mile run on the treadmill. I need to chase a ball outside. Yes, I am like a dog.

brookem said...

oh you don't want a torn hammie!! ;)
kudos to you for getting back into it! you'll pick it back up- having a running buddy definitely helps!

Amy Turpin said...

Mountain biking is super fun!! That was how Mike and I spent a lot of our dating time, and we turned out ok, so good luck. :) Feeling pretty good. Find out what he/she is on 10/9. Woo Hoo!!!

Alysha said...

You rock! I wish that I was in shape enough to run with you!