This week was the best because it was spring break and I ran every single run in the SUNSHINE. Not in warm sunshine, mind you, but in the sunshine. It was amazing and thinking about going back to dark laps around my block makes me want to cry. Maybe one of these days it'll get warmer.
The high point of my week was probably running 7 miles. I haven't run that far since November, so I was a little worried. Somehow it seemed way further than 6 miles! I headed out early because I was meeting Luke at his school for lunch that day and the thought of running 7 miles after eating a school lunch was definitely not appealing. I set a steady, slow pace and tried to ignore my watch, focusing just on getting to 7 miles. At mile 3, I was running up a pretty steep hill that is usually the bane of my existence when a guy standing on his porch starting cheering and said, "Wow, girl! You're looking great. Keep up the good work!" I kept that one with me at mile 5 when everything started to hurt, my pace slowed, and I so badly wanted to stop. I didn't. I just kept replaying his words and thinking, "I do look great. I can finish this." And I did, managing to keep a sub-10 pace (just barely).
The low point of my week was probably the easy 3 miles on Friday. I'd already run 17 miles that week and my feet and legs were pretty shot, but mostly I'm frustrated because my pace on my long runs and short runs are exactly the same. I know my speed will return, but I would like it to return a little bit now. I did manage to start out my first mile a little faster than I have been doing morning runs, but I'm mostly just managing a steady pace for 3 miles, instead of pushing myself progressively faster each mile. Not for lack of trying, either! I know the speed will return and I am super excited that my endurance is returning, but injuries are dumb. I just want to say that. Injuries are DUMB.
Excuses, excuses... I hear a lot of them. Like how every time my students have a big paper due, printers always break or computers crash. It's amazing how that happens. But I digress. Keli and I also hear a lot of running excuses. When I share what I've run, it's never because I feel like other people have to run, too. It's because I like the encouragement--it helps keep me going when I've had a rough run or a long week. But what happens a lot is that the response I get is people telling me why they can't run. And hey, we all have our reasons for why we can't do things, but let's be real here: we're all busy people.
Heck, before I even get out of bed in the morning, I run through a multitude of excuses in my head:
1. It's early. My alarm goes off at 4:30. I'm tired. I don't WANT to get up at 4:30 and run. I want to sleep for another hour. Why do I willingly do this to myself? What sort of sadist am I? But then I remember that Keli is probably waiting at the other end of a text message and yeah, I'd better get up. Plus, I'll feel better if I run. I always do.
2. My feet are most likely going to be a little sore when I get out of bed. They still aren't fully healed. Sometimes they twinge a little. At the end of a work day, they ACHE. That's part of why I run in the morning. Still, I remind myself that a little sore is manageable and when they really hurt and I couldn't run, that was miserable. Or when I was trying to run and they were horribly injured, it was just about the worst. So I'm thankful now that they are just a little sore and that's all.
3. I'm busy. Well, yeah. I have two kids and I work full-time. I have to be at work by 7:20. I get there earlier because 7:20 is when the kids arrive and anyone who teaches know that it's a recipe for disaster to arrive at the same time as the students. Still, running is important to me, so I make time.
Maybe it isn't important to you AND THAT'S OKAY. You don't have to justify it to me, but don't assume you can't do XYZ because you can't find time. You can. Whether it's running or yoga or Wii Fit or a workout video, there is a way. You just have to find it. A really great site to get inspired is Another Mother Runner because there are a lot of busy moms on there finding time for themselves and honestly, at the end of the day, this is what it's really about for me. When I run, it's for me. I'm setting a good example for my kids and even for my students, but when I run those laps around the block... that time is for me and that's why I can sacrifice my morning sleep and warm bed. Think about all the things you do in a given day that could be cut out and find the block that can be turned into a workout. It's there. I promise. (Or sit on the couch and eat nachos, but OWN that.)