Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm a little bit known for being a motormouth.

I just blab all day long to anyone who will listen about whatever is on my mind, completely oblivious to the non-verbal "please stop" cues from people around me until its too late and I have already said too much. I embarrass my husband at parties, reveal waaaaay too much information, and typically work under the (usually false) assumption that everyone is on the edge of their seats to hear the thrilling conclusion to my story of the time my...well, never mind. That's not the point.

Usually this is fine, except on mornings like today, when I end up making this big statement, and then taking it back a few hours later. For example, this morning while I was standing around at the gym putting of doing more jump squats, I announced to the general population that I was contemplating taking a break from running for a while. I've been forcing it the last few weeks, and my runs have been pretty...crappy. At first I thought it was my old shoes, so I got new ones. I thought I needed a new route, so I ran one. I considered a new, peppier playlist, so I downloaded one. But no, I just wasn't that into running. So I took a break for a week and figured I'd enjoy it more after a few days off.

I didn't.

In fact, I wasn't even looking forward to running. I was just plain old burned out, finding myself craving long bike rides and not minding being on the elliptical instead of out in the fresh air soaking in endorphins. When I entered my third week of not wanting to run, I started to feel bothered...and a little guilty. I've worked hard at running for a long time, and I've just recently started to get better at it. Plus, let's get our priorities straight here, I really like how running makes my legs look. My gut was telling me that I needed a real break, longer than a week. But I'll admit that I was afraid of what that might mean. After all, there's a fine line between a running break and a running lapse, and an even finer line between a running lapse and me turning into Bitch Supreme.

But then I heard myself say it: "I think I am going to take a little break from running." It was out there. And once the words were out I the little panic voice in my head immediately wanted to go for a run. But, I didn't. I promised myself three weeks off, and if I wasn't ready to run by then I would check myself in for psychotherapy.

It was a little scandalous, not running. It felt a little like a vacation, having given myself permission to purposely ignore what has been a fundamental part of my workout for years. I did different cardio instead; I watched "Sober House" on the elliptical. That was interesting.

And then, a few hours later, I clicked on a link someone tweeted to see live coverage of the women running the Boston Marathon. I was pretty captivated. Not only did these women make running a marathon look effortless, they made my piddly little 3-mile morning runs seem like a trip to the mailbox. I watched their legs stretch ahead of them and then propel them forward, over and over and over and over, and became hypnotized by it. And then it clicked. I wasn't tired of running 3 miles a day, I was done running 3 miles a day. I wasn't tired of running, I was bored with it. I do need a break, but not a break from running. I need a break from running like a robot.

So half-marathon training it is. The beatings will continue until morale improves? Yeah, that's kind of how I roll. I'll take my three weeks off, and then it is game on. Thanksgiving Day, my first 15k.

Gulp. Anyone know of a good Couch to 15k podcast? :)


JennyB said...

Go, Heather! Let me know when you find a half-marathon to do; that's on my list for this year, too. I think Tracey signed up for one, so we'll have to check with her. We'll be a lean, mean, running machine morning crew!! :)

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