Monday, February 21, 2011

Run Love

Have you ever met someone and felt that instant ZING!  Like where you have an almost visible connection that feels like an electrical current between you & the other someone?

and god forbid your arms should brush, YOWZA!  You feel a rush all the way down to your toes...

I sometimes wonder why I felt that for running.

I was talking to 20something year old neighbor the other day about how sad I was about missing my milage, and she said,  "It was so neat to watch you from the beginning.  I remember when you went out and came home after running 2 whole miles".

Huh.  ~  I barely remember that myself, why does she remember it?

"Because you practically glowed!"

Oh.  OK sure.  Glowing after the first 2 miler, I guess I can appreciate that, though I don't remember feeling "glow".  I definitely remember feeling sweaty.

So, for those who have never heard the story, I'm like a lovesick teenager and I love to tell it, I took up running on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.  See, on Monday I asked a runner I knew and respected (you all know her now as my running wife, T), "how do I do this?"  By Tuesday I had a plan in hand and I went out to run two whole miles... well, I practically sprinted down the street, huffing and heaving, arms flailing like I was trying flag down the passing cars...  until I could go no further, and I walked for a good solid minute about 5 minutes into my run.  It was hard.  There were many points along that 2 miles where I wasn't sure I could make it.

I remember I got home feeing not great.  Nauseated and sweaty.

So the next Thursday I mapped a 2.5 mile run and I almost ran that whole way too.  2.5 miles.  BUT, I was not high.  Just hot, sweaty and nauseated.  again.

So what is the logical next step for the typical newbie?  Run another nice easy 2+ mile run on the weekend, right?  That is what the plan detailed for me.

Except that logic has never really been my SOP when it comes to running.  I was scheduled to "walk a 5K with a moms group" on Saturday.  Well HELLO, I was a runner now.  I had been running for 2 whole days.  No reason not to just run as much of the 5K as possible and walk the finish.

Yea, have we met?  What do you think the odds were of me actually executing that?  Well, you're right.  I didn't execute AT. ALL.  

I had my stroller, so I lined up at the back of the running pack next to another runner with a stroller (who is part of my core Posse now, years later), and I had my first experience with "starting a race too fast".  A half mile into our adventure the runner beside me said, "Well, I'm pregnant, so I'm going to walk the rest.  Have fun!!!"  And I kept running.

The race was a 5K out and back. Early in my race the finishers were cruising past me on the way back.  But I wasn't stopping.  No way.  I was puffing along.  I had my 20 (thousand) pound stroller making me look cool.  I was running along, pumping one arm for balance, and an amazing thing happened.

I realized that I was one of the runners at the 5K.

I was passing walkers left and right.  I saw people I knew, and they were waving and cheering for ME.  Imagine that?  Up the hill, around the corner I could see the purple balloons that arched the finish line.  My lungs were burning.  I could not believe I was doing this.  But there was NO WAY I was stopping now.

B'nut, barely more than a baby, was sitting forward in her stroller, gripping the handles on either side of her seat with her eyes wide and smiling, the little blond tuft of fuzz on the top of her head blowing in the wind.  We. Were. RUNNERS.

I flew around the corner, pushing as hard as I could across the finish line, and the clock read 35:43, and I laughed out loud.  I could barely breathe, I thought I could drop out if I stopped moving, my legs were burning and weak, and there I was ~ LAUGHING!

I was so a PR that day.  I had NO idea what I had just done, the magnitude of that first "high", or the silliness of running a 5K without any training to speak of...  I only knew that I had RUN a 5K, and it. was. love.


kat said...

Thanks for sharing your love story, what an awesome piece piece of writing.

Rene' said...

G--That was great. i love the description of BNut holding the stroller. It is amazing once you set your mind to doing something you do it!

Jen said...

Cute story.... we all need to remember why we do this....

MCM Mama said...

Crazy girl! You rock!

Pam said...

I'm seriously impressed. A 5K on your 3rd day of running? That's really amazing.

I remember my first night of running. I went out for one mile. One measley mile. I thought I could surely do that without walking. NOPE! I was so mad because I was in pretty good shape from going to the gym and stuff. What I didn't realize was that you use different muscles in totally different ways! That was in July of '09. I didn't start a log until a couple of months later, but I still love looking back at that log and seeing the progress. This weekend, for instance... I ran 8 miles at a 10:30 pace and felt crazy good. I looked back at my log and saw the first time I ran 8 miles in October of '09 (Yes, a mere three months after I started running--I jumped right into a HM. Stupid.) it was at a 12:24 pace. I just hope I can continue that trend!

Anonymous said...

love this story! thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

Love the story!!

Run with Jess said...

Wonderful story, and you make a great storyteller!!

April said...

Great story! It's always good to look back and see how a relationship has evolved!

Liz said...

love it! what a nice reminder to stop thinking about pace, prs, and speed work and to just enjoy what makes running so great. :)