Beginning Again: Running

It was going to be 84 today, so I set my mind to running first thing this morning. I was on track with my training to run a 10K in May. Of course that was in early March. It would be a matter of days before my race in Chicago, The Shamrock Shuffle, and my May race in Grand Rapids were canceled. “Screw it,” my mind said. I’ll just stop running and stress eat until we go back to the office. Of course the three weeks turned into 5 and then into a “to-be-determined” date. As I got more isolated, I got more depressed. And as I got more depressed, I ate more junk. About the time we were asked to go on furlough I’d had enough of my bad eating habits and my lack of exercise.

Jessica “the Bitch” Sprenkel, my decade-long personal trainer had moved all of her classes online and announced she was starting a running program. There would be no cost during the pandemic unless we wanted to contribute. I was getting paid, so I opted for the pay version. Besides, I needed to pay somebody so I’d be accountable for making progress. I wasn’t doing so well on my own.

We could not check in to work at all during our furloughs. We couldn’t talk about work. We couldn’t log on to any company systems. So I totally unplugged for two weeks. I created a sourdough starter, bought some vintage rugs from my neighbor, binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, baked bread and started running and strength-training again. It was nice to be in a live class with my friend from Tulsa since the only other thing I could do was grocery shop. And I was trying to only do that every other week. The running really got my mind back in a good space, and I’ve stuck with it.

To be clear, I never want to get up and run. The last thing I want to do is roll out of the bed and start pounding the pavement. My favorite time of the day is having my tea after I get up, and I don’t like skipping it for a quick run. I usually end up getting up earlier to make time for both. But in today’s environment, I have no commute time. It’s easier to go for a run and even start work before I shower. Working from home makes exercise so much easier… except when it didn’t.

So this morning I got up, threw on some running clothes, fed my pets and prepared a nice cup of Earl Grey tea. I made overnight Muesli with fresh strawberries, so I ate that first thing. I took my warm cup of tea and settled in on my sofa to enjoy. Just taking a few moments to breathe and sit still makes me feel centered. Before my tea got cold, I forced myself to get up and get going.

There were lots of people out at 6:30 AM walking their dogs and riding their bikes. The breeze was cool off the lake, and I even thought maybe I read the temperature wrong. Was it really going to get up to 84 degrees? (Yes, it did.) I listened to one of my favorite podcasts, and my run was literally over before I was ready to stop. It always feels good to be done. It means I can relax in the evening and maybe even blog.

And, guess what…. it’s almost time for tomorrow’s morning cup of tea! I CAN’T wait!

5 Comments on “Beginning Again: Running

  1. Keep on keeping on dear friend ! That bread looks wonderful what kind is it ?

  2. I agree with NOT wanting to get out of bed for a run. I always had a love/hate relationship with running, which is not unusual, I know. But it was an efficient way to burn off stress in the midst of a busy and stressful life. For years, it was either my weekend, longtime running buddy that I met with, or my weekday, three ladies and four dogs at the end of my driveway. Still, since my running days have come to an end, I do miss that part of my life. I will say that I have focused on bicycling for the past few years and have loved it. It’s never felt like a chore, and there is surely something to be said for that. Alarm set for 6:30 tomorrow to get up and meet friends for a nice ride.

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