I hadn't run since I injured myself at the end of July and the insanely cold weather finally eased up a bit, motivating me to get going. I have learned that I have to rein in myself when I start running after even a brief break, as I mentally want to run at least 3 miles each time out but my body won't like it one bit. So I got my gear on and went for a 2 mile run.
Let's just say that I huffed and puffed through both miles, finishing completely winded.
It was a start.
I ran several times that week and the next - I was starting a good pattern and hoped that my cardio would start slowly improving in the coming week or so.
Then, last week I came down with some nasty head cold thing that eliminated my ability to breath easily while sitting, let alone trying to run. So I didn't run last week.
That puts me back at ground zero (in my mind) and is quite frustrating, although it shouldn't be as I have just started running again. There isn't exactly much physical fitness to lose at this point.
For those of you who run or enjoy any other type of cardio-based activity, you understand that feeling of knowing your cardio abilities are dwindling/dying/dead. It is pleasant. In fact, it is a terrible thing.
Knowing that I am starting over as if I have never run before is a bit hard to take.
It was easier starting to run when I had never run before.
I was naive, as I believe all new runners are.
Now I know how hard it will be to get back to the shape I was in after consistently running for 2 years and it isn't pretty.
But it is motivating.
Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a little piece about Why I Run, in which I wrote the following:
Runners realize their limitations through the repetitive motion of slamming their feet into the ground and propelling themselves forward. Runners of any skill level must deal with learning how to manage the mental as well as physical challenges that come with starting a race. To get to that line, the runner has to have determined weeks or months in advance that they are going to commit themselves to the task of purposefully wearing themselves out multiple times a week when literally nobody is looking and nobody cares.And that is where I am.
I acknowledge my current limitations.
I have lost muscle mass, gained fat and lost my cardiovascular strength, along with my habit/pattern of running.
However, I have not lost the ability to run, therefore I can gain the rest back through hard work and diligence.
And so I begin again...
Ready to need to purchase new running shoes, adjust my playlist, reset my alarm clock and go.
I am ready to run, even if I am not quite able to yet.
Starting over is hard, but it is needed and worthwhile.