16 August 2015

Those First Bad Miles

While not me, the sweat, pasty white legs, and expression are tragically familiar.
Once upon a time, I was a runner. No, really, I was. And by 'runner,' I don't mean an uncanny ability to run at breakneck speed whenever the "Hot Doughnuts" sign started flashing at the nearest Krispy Kreme. At the peak of my running, I was putting in close to 30 miles a week, got more than a few 5K and 10K races under my water belt. I paced a friend during one of his epic ultra marathons and I even completed two half marathons. I loved it. I loved the training. I loved the feeling of the sun on my skin. I loved the feeling of snow crunching under my running shoes. I loved the paradox of sweating as it snowed during a five mile run. I was never going to break a speed record or be first across the finish line but I loved how I felt. Oh, and I loved being twenty fives pound lighter than I am today.

And then one day, I didn't love it anymore.

Literally (thanks, Chris Traeger), it was over in a day. Well, maybe not a day, but it was shocking how quickly this thing I'd loved for several years disappeared from my life. Not shocking was how quickly the weight came back, giving me the #dadbod I now sport. The reasons for the 'falling out of love' are myriad and by and large, they are nothing more than a series of lame excuses. I'm not happy about it. I feel guilty in the company of my friends who run. While I am still a subscriber to Runner's World, I am embarrassed to read it in public. Somehow the visual of a magazine dedicated to running and staying healthy resting on my bulging gut as I read it on the train is all kinds of not right. Not right at all.

Several years ago, Simon Pegg (the pasty Brit about to have a seizure in the picture above) starred in a film called, "Run Fatboy Run." Pegg plays an out of shape, lazy bloke who decides to win back the affections of his ex-fiancee and son by running the London Marathon with an obscene lack of training. Without giving away the plot details, you can guess how it ends...of course, he finished the marathon (in ugly fashion) and wins back the love of his life. Go, romcoms! Because that's how life works, right?

Why the film reference? Because I woke up yesterday morning and said, 'I'm running again.' I laced up my beloved Brooks and like the Fatboy from the movie, I ran and I ran ugly. It was an ugly two miles yesterday. Some of the hardest two miles I can remember. But here's the thing...I liked it.

There will be ups (my manboobs flailing akimbo - Farmington Trail runners, you have been warned!) and downs (my uncanny ability trip while running). It's not going to be pretty, but as a Bollywood singer once warbled, "Love's never easy." I'm ready to fall in love with running again. So here I go.

Wish me luck.

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