A Return to Running

chicago-2012

My amazing friend Melissa met me at the finish line of the Chicago Marathon with flowers, tequila, and gluten free cookies from her and our other friend, also named Melissa.

I ran a marathon in 2012. It was one of the hardest physical challenges I’ve ever undertaken. It chewed me up and spit me out. I was injured before I got to the starting line and frankly shouldn’t have attempted to run, but a combination of stubbornness, the fact that it was ON my 25th birthday, and the sheer amount of cash I had spent on the weekend (hotel, food, transportation…even with the $150 race fee gifted to me, it was an expensive trip) worked together and I did it. I was practically crawling when I got to the finish line. Every step was painful. My shins were swollen, my fingers looked like sausages, and I was mentally broken. When I finally arrived at the finish line, I didn’t even get a medal due to a number of “bandits” who had run the course and taken medals that they hadn’t registered for. (Happily, the Chicago Marathon people were really cool and did send me a medal a few weeks later.)

After Chicago, I took a brief break from running before getting back to it. Then there were a few half marathons, a Spartan race, and the usual 5ks. But I kept getting injured, and I kept having to take breaks from running, which I hated. Because, you know, I’m actually one of those weirdos who likes to run.

oakbarrel-2015

Anyway, at some point after running one of my dream races with my friend Megan (Oak Barrel in Lynchburg, Tennessee, pictured at left) in spring 2015, I decided that the injuries weren’t worth the hassle and took my longest hiatus from running since I started track in junior high. I ran one lone mile in November 2016 and it felt great, but that’s it. I walked a couple of 5ks, but it just wasn’t the same.

When my friend Joanna told me that she’d like to complete a half marathon, I suggested the Indy Mini since it goes around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and she loves going to the 500 with her family. We planned to walk it, but then I saw that my gym was offering a training clinic three days a week, and, well…I signed up. It starts on January 16th and I don’t want my extended lack of miles to leave me lagging far behind on day one, so I started Couch to 5K for what feels like the 500th time.

Tuesday was gray but surprisingly warm for January, so I did my first run of the program outside. Today I hit the treadmill at the Y after going to morning yoga (thanks, insomnia) and so far, so good. I’m excited to make a slow return to the world of Gu and Garmins!

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