Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Take It Slow: The Glorious Return of the Late Night Run

I've not said much lately about being an introvert and also a mother. I've said nothing since Elvie came home. The pace of events has been so fast that I haven't had much time to think about my needs. I recognize that feeling of being choked on the inside when I've had too much of people, but for the most part I've squashed it and held on for another day. But coping like that can only last so long, and I feel like it's time for me to recognize my need for solitude and figure out what to do about it.

I have missed being a runner. For a girl who used to run marathons, having to start over from scratch is tough. But tonight I realized that of all the things I could do by myself, running was the one thing I wanted most. So I put on my running shoes after Zinashi and Elvie were both asleep and slipped out the door. It didn't take one block for me to understand that this is exactly what I need right now to keep myself somewhat well balanced.

I couldn't run very far at a time or for much distance total, but it still felt like heaven. I didn't realize just how much I'd been missing it, and in particular how much I'd been missing running right out my front door. The last time I had such a satisfying running experience was when I lived in my little apartment just off the Plaza in Kansas City. I moved away from there in June of 2006. So it's been awhile. Running has taken such effort in the interim, and I hadn't entertained the idea of running further than five or six miles at a time. I didn't think it was possible. But tonight I thought, well, maybe I could figure out how to train for a half marathon.

I miss what running did for me. It's no secret I've been carrying extra weight, and I do look forward to shedding those pounds so that more of my clothes fit again, but that's not what this is about. Running reminds me of what I can do. Running makes me feel like anything is possible. Running quiets my mind and calms my emotions in a way nothing else does. It is pure and simple. I just put on my shoes and run.

I have a plan for working back up to being able to run decent distances without walking. It involves a lot of walking in between spurts of running at first, which for some reason doesn't frustrate me as much as it did when I tried to begin running again after Zinashi's adoption. I remember what it was like the first time I learned to run five miles at a time, and I know that my body can figure it out again. I know that in a month or so, I'll just head out and run, and that will be that. Maybe in the spring, I'll be able to run ten miles on a Saturday, just like old times. Maybe in the summer, 13.1 miles won't seem like much of a big deal.

I guess we'll see. But for now, this--just getting started again--is just what I need. 


  1. Wahoo! That's so exciting- cheering for you!

  2. Hurrah! I also run marathons, usually two per year. When we got our referral I considered skipping my fall marathon, but then decided the training would help keep me sane during the process. It did (well, "sane" is probably a stretch :) ) and my race is a week from Saturday.

    You don't need me to say you can do it, you know that already. So instead, I'll say welcome back to the world of running. Enjoy!!

  3. Bravo! I too need my solitude and my exercise. Congrats on finding a way to make it work. (One of many reasons I love preschool - I can go for long walks ALONE!)

  4. Totally understand what you're saying. Even if I get out once a week it makes a difference. I've been considering a half as well but sometimes once a week is all I get to run, so we'll see.

  5. Finding time to meet OUR needs is one of the hardest things about being a parent. It is even harder when you have adopted children that you are trying to from strong attachments with. My daughter was nine when she was adopted. She still demanded one hundred percent of my attention one hundred percent of the time. I have recently realized that somewhere along the past few years, I have lost sight of who I am a a person. After reading your blog, I think I understand that I need to make the time for me~no matter how hard or uncomfortable that seems.

  6. I'm about to start going running again too....it's good for you and gives you head space. I just read the book Barefoot Runner by Christopher McDougall and it has really inspired me. Interesting book and well written.


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