Today was my first run of 2010, and it felt amazing. I have a small 2 1/2 mile loop around my house that I like to run on work days, and on weekends I drive to a trail head a few miles away for a longer 4 1/2 mile run. Well, I say this like I do it all the time. But I used to!
I ran from about February 2009 up until August 2009 when I completed my first 10k race. That race was the longest distance I had ever run, just over 6 miles. I'm not going lie, it was hard and I can't necessarily say that I loved it. I did however love the accomplishment of it at the end. The race benefit something very dear to my heart, and I don't regret doing it. I did decide after the fact that maybe competitive running isn't for me. I like running for myself, and with others. I like the daily accomplishment, to prove the strength my body has and I really enjoy the opportunity to run with friends for some good quality time.
I stopped running in September because my shift at work had changed (day time hours). My daily running partner is my husband and he continued to work his same schedule (night time hours), leaving me less than motivated. I'm not saying I can't run alone, I can. However, it seemed as though the odds were stacked against me. It was dark when I woke and dark when I came home. I wasn't keen on running alone in the dark. I also live outside of the city limits, which means there are no street lights and half the time no sidewalks. I don't think a blinky light and a headlamp would have really made me feel all that secure alone.
Needless to say, even though I have 3 days a week off at least, I couldn't even manage the motivation to run on my days off. So I just quit. I pretended like I hadn't, but when people asked about it I was definitely disappointed in myself. I've found for me that running is more mental than anything else. Our bodies are amazing machines that can do just about anything we ask of them. It's whether or not mentally you're going to support that.
When I left for my run today, I concentrated on all of the positive points that running brings me. Happiness, stress relief, self confidence, quality time with my husband and most of all this incredible feeling in my muscles that I can't really explain. I just feel so darn good right now. Today was a beautiful day for running, and I'm so glad I just sucked it up and went. I was really worried about losing my "skill" after the months I've taken off, but I ran my whole loop with no problems. I know my pace was slower than what it was back in August, but I still made it to the end with no pain and no complaints. Success at it's finest.