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Because I Missed It

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I said I was taking a month off running. I made it 22 days.

When I woke up this morning, I never would have thought in a million years that tonight would end off as it has. Over the weekend, I did something to my back and had to bump up my regular chiropractor appointment which wasn't supposed to be until Friday of this week to Wednesday morning (the earliest I could get). Because I'm sore, I opted to take a rest day today from Boot Camp cardio. I did just the video, and rather than bike to work as I have every other Monday this month, I plodded to the bus. Sitting is what kills me when my back is out, so work today was filled with lots of ups and downs to the water cooler and the bathroom to stretch things out. By the end of the day I was feeling better and decided to use up a Groupon deal that I had for the movies and bought a 6:45pm ticket to 'Water for Elephants'. I also had a deal for Running Away Multisport that expired today, so after work I headed over to the store to pick out something nice. I walked around the bikes and shoes and sifted my fingers through the tech gear, salivating over all the expensive equipment. I ended up choosing a pair of rechargeable LED night lights for my bike (an investment that would have set me back a pretty penny without the deal) and made my way over to the movie theater. Since I hadn't planned on seeing a movie and it was definitely dinner time, I decided to hit up the snack bar. I ordered a dry popcorn and diet coke (a BIG treat for me - not exactly "dinner" but oh well!) and found a seat in the dark theater.

The movie was great, the popcorn was salty, and the diet coke hit the spot. I thoroughly enjoyed my evening. As I left the theater and walked out into the dark, humid night, something hit me. I didn't want it to end yet. It was still relatively early, and as I waited for the bus to take me home, it dawned on me. I wanted to run. Like, right now. At 9:30pm.

Deciding not to let the feeling get away from me, I raced home and jumped into my running gear as fast as I could. I laced up my shoes and started my Garmin and practically flew out the door. It was 9:42pm. I shortened my regular 5 minute warm-up walk to 3 minutes and took off on my regular route, by feet pounding the pavement. Yes! It felt SO good.

Now, I NEVER run at night, let alone LATE at night. Usually after work I am so beat, my energy is in the stinker. Getting through a night run can be like pulling teeth for me, so whatever stars aligned tonight I will never know, but I am so grateful for them (although I'm assuming the stars names are "salty carbs" and "caffeine").

The smells are different on a night run - I ran through late night dinners, meat on the BBQ and open restaurant patios. Through stale beer from bars and lingering cigarette smoke from a few lonely souls on the street. I ran past lilac blossoms and the smell of mud. Of garbage that has been sitting all day in the Chicago heat and the moist smell of grass being watered by a leaking hose. Good smells and bad smells - I took it all in, the humid, night air against my face with just the slightest cool breeze.

Tonight I ran with the rabbits. I saw three different bunnies darting in and out of the bushes as I passed, running along-side me in the grass. I smiled and laughed at each one - reminding me that it's ok to be a turtle sometimes too - as long as you keep on going.

The dogs are different at night - as are their owners. And unlike in the morning, where I share the streets with cars and drivers on their way to work - tonight I shared the sidewalks with couples and people sitting out on front stoops enjoying the beautiful weather.

With every corner I turned, my body glistening with sweat, I felt stronger and more alive. I set out to run 3 miles - I ran 3.5 because I could. Tonight I ran after 22 days of not running because I missed it. And I knew that once I missed it badly enough, I would come back to it with a vengeance. But quite honestly, I was scared. I was scared that I WOULDN'T miss it. I had a bad race on May 1st - and honestly, it wasn't that bad - it was just..."hard" - I still set a personal best, but I was disappointed in myself that 3.1 miles felt so darn difficult after having run such a great 8K only a couple weeks earlier. So in a fit of "I don't wanna" I quit. I stopped running and poured my energy into other things, saying I would come back to it when I missed it. Not knowing if the "missing it" would ever happen or not.

I don't know when I will run again, but I do know that it won't be that long until I do. After 22 days away - I can honestly say that running is a part of me because I missed it. I actually missed it. I know now (like, really know, in my soul) that there will be good runs and bad runs. Tonight was a GREAT run. And I can't let the outcome of one race ruin my joy for the sport. Maybe I just don't like racing all that much. And that's ok too.

The bottom line is this (and I am so thrilled I can now say this and truly feel that it is true): My body LOVES to run. And so I will.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hmm I ran across your page..... I am in chicago as well... your very inspiring... I have 130 lbs to lose and I have lost 41 of those so far.. I want to run and I am trying... and your page as def... inspired me...

    Thank you !
    2514 days ago
  • SHANNJ77
    Great blog. I am not at all a runner, but I recently walked my first 5K. I jogged some of it, but not much. I was motivated enough when I finished to register for a 10K coming up soon. I was planning to walk most of it, but this makes me want to try to run. We shall see how it turns out. Thanks for the extra motivation. :)
    2519 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2519 days ago
  • LINJO66
    emoticon emoticon
    Your night sounded awesome!
    2520 days ago
    The way you described the night run was amazing. I just love the heart in this blog.

    Run baby run!

    2520 days ago
    Just wanted to say your blogs always give me a nice boost of encouragement, thank you for your great energy and honesty. Actually makes me want to think about taking up running! Good luck in your continued weight loss journey, you can do this.
    2520 days ago
    I loved reading this. I think when we allow ourselves to truly listen to our bodies they will tell us to do things like go for runs late at night (and not eat junk food mindlessly). Thank you for your words and best of luck on your journey. Sounds like you already have so much to be proud about.
    2520 days ago
    Absolutely beautiful!
    2521 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2525 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/25/2011 11:19:02 PM
    i understand the running withdrawls totally!! great pic...behold the fierce runner!! woo hoo!
    2525 days ago
    Great blog - as always.

    Thanks for sharing. I really like the taste of running that I've gotten so far, and I am yearning for it.
    2526 days ago
    You know it is something you love when you can't not do it anymore. I feel that way about dancing. I feel a need for it. How awesome! Something healthy that we have to do :). Enjoy every run!
    2526 days ago
    What a great night. Bike accessories, a movie and a terrific run. I prefer to run at night. I don't do well in the heat. Glad you've reclaimed your joy in running. I'm having a litle difficulty with that right now.

    You're looking pretty terrific even when your sweaty from a run. You go girl!
    2526 days ago
    That was awesome! You are a really wonderful writer, you really make your world come alive! And I just loved that about missing reminded me that when I started I hated to run and now I can't imgine not doing it, it is so much a part of me. Not that it I love every run, not that there aren't some that are just so tough, but the sheer act of running is just a part of me now - and of you too, I think!

    2526 days ago
    Caffeine = great run for you, apparently! I wasn't worried about you not getting back into running. Sometimes we all need a break from our favorite pasttimes, but we always come back refreshed and even more in love with them. Congrats on the great run!
    2526 days ago
    "Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart." ~ Author Unknown

    Sounds like you followed your heart. *SMILES*
    2526 days ago
    OOooh, I love it!!!! I'm so glad that you missed it and didn't wait to take advantage of that feeling, even though you said you normally don't run at night. I was there right with you, you pulled me into the smells, sights, what a wonderful run you had!!! I am so proud of you and that after picture ROCKS!!! Love the salty carbs and caffeine goddesses too! You are my hero emoticon
    2526 days ago
    emoticon blog entry as usual TFS
    2526 days ago
    Jenn, I'm so glad you discovered the night run. I am a night time exerciser and I LOVE the smell of the lilacs and the feel of the night air. Congrats on finding your "missing" passion.
    2526 days ago
    "there are good runs and there are bad runs" AMEN! I learned how much I truly loved it (and missed it) when it was taken from me due to injury. Now that I'm back, I feel the urge to run constantly (I actually felt it then too, which would make me sad because I could never follow through on it). I've run three times since I was given the "okay" from the doc and they haven't all been wonderful (yesterday's was SUPER difficult!) but I still think to myself - I CAN! I CAN!

    Happy running!! :)
    2526 days ago
    I loved reading this. And I will probably read it again tonight even; something so reaffirming about hearing other people work through the mental ups and downs.

    I'm proud of you !!!
    2526 days ago
  • LP5200
    Great post! It's amazing how our bodies can begin to crave movement. Keep up the good work!
    2526 days ago
  • ALOFA0509

    Perfect end to a Perfect evening!! Bravo sista emoticon
    2527 days ago
    Wow, another proof of the fact that listening to one's body is the best thing to do!
    2527 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    *smiles* I really enjoyed reading this, you really have a great way of making things so visual.
    2527 days ago
    emoticon nice evening. Don't you love when motivation just smacks you and says let's go? Congrats on recognizing it and going with it!
    2527 days ago
    I ran today, but not so far. I know I would miss running if I quit and I hope I don't have to any time soon. It makes me feel so alive!
    2527 days ago
    BEAUTIFUL! This is so fantastic, I'm so glad it's become a part of your life that you can really enjoy. It's so easy to complain about it sometimes, but I guess there's a certain point in the running journey where a girl becomes the mistress of her runnin' legs. You just can't shut those gams up!
    2527 days ago
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