This week I unintentionally fell in love with running all over again and let me tell you it feels great! After the marathon I was left wondering, what's next? I didn't really get the post marathon blues that others talk about. I was all too happy to take a break from the long runs, shed the few pounds I'd gained during training (my ticker now up to date), get back to my weights, cross train and just run for fun. Still, I was kind of lost when it came to setting a new goal. It felt nice just to be running however many miles I pleased without a set plan, but without a purpose, running was losing some of its shine for me.
There have been many times where I have wished that I could erase all my running history and go back to the beginning. I know that sounds kind of weird, but sometimes I wish I could experience the newness of running again, you know, that excitement you feel, that sense of accomplishment when you're able to run that first mile and then two and then three. It's kind of like when you've been married for awhile and your single friends talk about first dates, or when your girlfriend is over and her bf calls her like five times while you're watching "Lost" because their relationship is all giggly and new. Okay, forget the last example, that's just annoying! It's not that you don't love what you already have, but occasionally you miss that feeling of newness. It's like that with running. I'm proud of all that I have accomplished and I still love it, but it's hard to get that same excitement about running anymore. Sure, training for and running races is exciting, but usually only at the beginning when you set the goal and then at the end when you run the race. All the miles in between tend to be quite uneventful and dare I say a tad boring at times. Sometimes, just a means to an end.
So, winter has officially arrived and everywhere I look there is snow. In years past this would be when I move my running inside to the treadmill and spend the next five months staring at the wall while I run, listening to the same songs over and over. Boring! Also, not particularly fun if you're training for an event and have to do your long runs on there. My treadmill record stands at 14 miles and I honestly hope I never beat it.
This week I was going a little stir crazy and felt the need to get outside. I decided that maybe I should try a run and see how bad it really was. DD was being particularly difficult and I thought some fresh air would do us both some good. I don't really have the proper attire for winter running, but I made do with what I had and suited up. You may see me on a worst dressed list in the near future, but at least I was warm. It was snowing pretty heavily, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I bundled DD up, put her the jogging stroller and off I went. The first half mile was pretty chilly and I could barely see through all the snow which had now turned into a small snow storm, but I kept on trucking. After the first mile I had warmed up and was surprised to find that I felt great. I felt better than great. It felt so empowering to be out there in a snow storm, pushing a jogging stroller. I ran 3 of my slowest miles ever, but I didn't even care and I was so proud of myself was getting out there. I'm officially in love!
I was super excited to go running outside again today. My MIL took DD for the day so I was stroller free this afternoon. I stopped by the mall today and picked up a hat, a neck warmer thingie and some tights for a base layer since the temperature has dropped drastically in the past couple of days. Today it was -12, but it felt like -19 with the wind chill. Brrrrrr! When I stepped outside, dressed and ready for my run I started to think that perhaps I was crazy, but once I got going it wasn't so bad. My pace is considerably slower because of the snow and I had to blaze my own trail today on the old rail trail since the snowmobiles haven't packed it down yet. Slow or not, those 5 miles today felt the best! Winter running is my new challenge. Over the next several months I will be faced with even colder temperatures, snow storms, ice and deep snow and I can't wait to conquer it all. The excitement has returned. Everything is new again because I get to experience a world of firsts. My first time pushing a jogging stroller in the snow, my first 5 miles in the snow and this weekend will be my first race in the snow. I was so excited that last night I decided to enter a 10 mile race on Sunday. Kind of impulsive, but totally doable and I can't wait!
Have a great weekend everyone!