Welcome Back to Running!

This past week was so much fun! It’s like the running community is finally getting back to racing in person again. Due to COVID-19, the in-person races have been shut down for more than a year. Even though some races were run in October, this weekend seems like the weekend where it seemed we were returning to normal. Even tough it wasn’t totally normal.

Because so many spring races moved their dates, races like the Los Angeles Marathon were run in the fall! Another race I’ve run, the Orange County Marathon/Half Marathon was also pushed from it’s normal spot in May to this weekend!

So, in addition to the normal races, like the 50th running of the NYC Marathon this weekend, we had more to see on our social media feeds. I’ve got to admit that it was kind of fun to watch the last part of the NYC Marathon and then switch over to watch the Los Angeles Marathon on the same morning! Both races were really fun. In NYC, the United States had the 4th place finisher in both the Men’s and Women’s races! In LA, we saw the Men’s winner and the Women’s break away really early (mile 18 for the top woman and mile 19 for the top man). One cool thing about the men’s champ in LA is that he broke free early back in 2019 in LA, only to be caught in the last mile. This time, he just kept putting more distance between him and the second place finisher all the way to the finish line.

In addition to these races, runDisney was back! Not only was it back with the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, but so many runners whom I haven’t seen on social media were back and running at Disney. Watching everyone makes me want the races to return to the West coast more than ever!

Not only is in-person racing back, but I’ve finally had a full training week for the first time since the Pandemic shut us down. I started off last Monday with my first 2 miles in about a month or two. I’ve got to admit that this run was not pretty. There was a lot of huffing and puffing. But, I kept telling myself that my finish time doesn’t matter right now. Getting in miles consistently does. My goal was to run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for all 2 miles. That didn’t happen. The second mile is where things fell apart. However, I did keep to these run/walk intervals up through 1.25 miles.

On Thursday, I headed back out for another 2 miles. I had the same goals as on Monday….run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for 2 miles. Again, it didn’t happen. However, there was improvement as I ran more this time around. Crazy thing…this time around the running felt more normal! As I looked back in time, I realized that this was the first time I ran 2 training runs in the same week since one year prior. I felt good at the end of this run because it was faster and I felt better along the way.

So, Saturday night should have been better than on Thursday. Right? Wrong! This run was a big ol’ train wreck right from the beginning. For starters, I was running in new shorts that were kind of different from what I’ve used before. These ones had buit-in under shorts. So, it felt different. While I was walking to warm up, I could feel the difference. Even though if felt a little odd, I was determined to get this third run in the books. So, off I went. Only, that first run interval fizzled after only 5 seconds. The legs felt tight and the shorts felt weird. So, I gave up on the run interval very quickly. I even contemplated turning around and heading home. However, I remembered how Jeff Galloway preaches that if you have to walk the entire way, you should still finish the required distance. So, I began adjusting my shorts differently until I found some comfort and started my run intervals at the 2 minute mark. I fought back the desire to quit many times because I was already going. Why stop now?

By the time I got to the end, I felt accomplished. Why? Because I didn’t give up. Also, I realized that there are many runs I’ve had where the first two miles weren’t great, but things got better in mile 3. So, I shouldn’t put too much into my slow and hard start. As I head into this week, I have the same goal as last week. I want to run 2 miles 3 times. I believe that, if I do this, I will feel much better by the end of the week and ready to up the mileage to 3 miles per training run.

Getting back into running is hard work. It’s not fun to deal with the huffing and puffing. It’s not fun to run slower than you were used to doing. It’s not fun dealing with the way the body feels. However, one thing I’m realizing this time around, running doesn’t always make me feel great while I’m running. But, at the end of each run, I’m proud of what I accomplished. I’m pursuing a really big dream for 2023. It’s going to take the rest of 2021 and all of 2022 in order to get there. Even though I have enough time to be ready for Dopey 2023, I need to work hard on making it through each and every run. That is the winning ticket to finishing Dopey. Consistency. Something flipped for me this week. I hope it continues.

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