I run, therefore I am a runner

I have a very long, strange and convoluted history with running. To fully appreciate it, you have to understand that as a kid I hated all athletics. I really hated team sports, but I wasn’t much of a fan of things like running either.

Post-college I joined a gym because that seemed like something you should do. And like most women I was obsessed with my weight. I started running a bit, but I hated it. I walked instead which I never found really compelling. My relationship with all things athletic moved from hate-hate to love-hate, but also became very on-again, off-again.

Then in my  late 20s I lost a bunch of weight. About 20 pounds. The first time I got on the treadmill after that I was amazed. Running felt AWESOME. Suddenly I realized the most obvious truth — running is for skinny people. (Cue irony.)

The on-again, off-again relationship with running continued into my very early 30s. About 7 years ago I started running outside (previously I’d almost exclusively run on treadmills) and I began to think that maybe I was a runner, as opposed to someone who occasionally runs.

Then came the fertility carousel — trying to get pregnant, REALLY trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, being post-partum and nursing, trying to get pregnant again, being pregnant again, being post-partum and nursing again, being a working mom with two kids under three. Gah. I’m exhausted just typing that. Buh-bye 30s! Was nice knowing you.

Then, last spring the stars started to align. I got back out on the road. And it all just CLICKED. Running didn’t feel good — it felt great. I was finding weird slices of time to squeeze in runs. (My personal favorite remains 7pm — if Preston is home to handle bedtime I hit the road after dinner, get back by 8, take a quick shower then get onto my computer to catch up on work for a few hours. It works only in the spring and summer and very early fall until I lose the light.) Running wasn’t something I was tolerating for the sake of some theoretical health principle. I wanted to run. I am not particularly good at it. At my best I can do about 4 miles in a little under 45 minutes. But I love it. It clears my mind, makes my body feel good and soothes my soul.

Life was good. Until it wasn’t.

Over the summer my foot started to hurt. At first a little, then a lot. I thought maybe it was plantar fasciitis. Fortunately not, just bad feet. I’ve been wearing orthotics for about a week. Today I went on my first run in a few months. My foot felt great. The rest of me — let’s just say I think I’m going to pay for this in the morning. I only eked out about 2.5 miles. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully can get back on the road soon.

It certainly has been a long, strange trip.