I just got out of an ice bath. For those of you who don't know what an ice bath is, it's when you fill up the tub with the coldest water you can get to come out of your faucet and dump buckets of ice in it. They are highly addicting and help your body recover faster from running. As I sat down in the frigid tub and fought the bile that rose to my throat, I reminded myself the excruciating pain I felt would only last a few minutes until the numbness set it. What I was feeling was no match for the pain I would feel tomorrow morning when I tried to get out of bed if I skipped out on the ice bath.
You see, I just finished an 8 mile run and it's the first time I have run 8 consecutive miles since college. I ran XC and track all through high school and competed in college for a little while too. After that, my running became sporadic. I have always had a love/hate relationship with running and that is still the case. The past few years I rarely ran because I hated the fact that I was so SLOW.
It really bothered me that I was 15 pound heavier than college and I was never going to be able to crank out the times I did 10 years ago. (okay, 25 pounds, but hey I was tiny in college, we logged some insane mileage every week and I didn't have much fat on me...plus I've had two kids in three years so don't judge me!)
Anyways, I digress. A few months ago, I reconnected with a friend who I found out started a training group for our local marathon. After a long talk with her about my hesitation to start up running, I realized two things:
1. It's not about what I did 10 years ago.
2. It IS about what I am doing now.
So I signed up to run the half marathon (13.1 miles folks) and as I was running today, I realize that at this point in my life I run for the following reasons:
1. I run for myself. As a teacher, coach, wife, and mom of two, I don't get much "me" time. Running gives me some time to myself, time to think, time to reflect. Sometimes, I just put my body on cruise and go, only listening to my breath and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. Runs like those, I don't even think to blink.
2. I run for Noelle and Ty. I want my kids to value a healthy lifestyle. I want them to have a high self esteem. I want them to be competitive and push themselves beyond their limits. I want them to be disciplined and focused. Athletics is one area that they can learn this and who else to teach it to them besides me? Lead by example, right? My friends and colleagues laugh at me when I tell them Noelle ran a race, or that Ty and Noelle are doing gymnastics. They say they are "too young", that I've structured their life too much- the list goes on. I let Noelle run races, not because I'm grooming her to become the next All-state XC runner (although that would be fantastic!!), but because this is when it starts; this is the time you instill life-long values in your kids.
Ahhh, yes, I had finally flipped my love/hate relationship back on the love side for running. It was a beautiful thing.
Until I turned around at the 4th mile to head home and the wind slapped me in the face like a ton of bricks. 30 mph straight out of the north. How the hell did I miss that on the weather channel?! I spent the next 4 miles contemplating throwing myself in front of every city bus that passed by. But I did finish the run. Painfully. Obviously slower on the back half. But, I was still under my goal time so I had that going for me.
9 miles next sunday and I better be sure to read the weather channel extra carefully because I would hate to have to ruin some poor bus driver's Easter...