I’m not entirely sure what is happening. Before, running was something I was doing to…I don’t know, prove something. To be honest I was kind of feeling like a loser/failure/pathetic meat sack when I started last time, and maybe that’s why I pushed myself too hard, expected too much too fast, told myself it would be easy and quick. And maybe that’s why I stopped for seven months. But now, I really and truly feel like I’m running for me, absolutely and completely just because I want to run. Instead of looking at my watch, thinking about gadgets, worrying what other people are thinking about how I run or how fast I run, stressing about things, dredging up memories to make me angry enough to run faster, blah blah blah, I’m just running.
Yesterday, I ran for a total of 17 minutes (which is longer than I’ve ever gone), and in that time I ran a good part of 2 miles (3.21 k). I was not exhausted when I got home, nor was my head feeling overheated and like it was about to explode, nor were my legs or back excessively sore. I did not feel like a failure, I did not wonder what certain people I don’t get along with would have thought about me running, I did not wish I could have done more or gone faster. I ran at a snail’s pace and I must have looked ridiculous. But when I got to the place in the route where every time before I had had to stop because I was heaving, and when I realized I felt like I could go for another mile, I felt something that I honestly can’t describe, except that it’s almost like the feeling you get when you’re watching a black and white movie with Hepburn and Grant and they finally kiss. Times ten. It’s a feeling that everything everywhere is right with the world.
On the way back home, I ran again after walking for a bit. And then another phenomenon I have not experienced yet happened, one that seems to plague (in a good way) articles about running. I passed another runner going in the opposite direction. We were both sweating, tired (in a good way), and a little out of breath (in a good way), and when we passed we kind of did the running-grin-shrug-wave thing that seems to initiate you into the community of people who have lost their minds and who spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes.
In other news, I am finishing the hardest part of school next Friday. After that, all I have to do is ride horses for 61 hours (life sucks, doesn’t it?), creative writing, and French. I’m registering for a 10k race on August 9. I’m seeing friends I haven’t seen in 8 months in April/May. My niece is due in June. I am really, really, really excited about life 🙂
Photo courtesy of my mother, as is the one in the UCT post.