This headline comes from a subject line I emailed to Collin a few days ago. See, I’ve really committed to getting back into running, and I’ve become totally nerdily excited about it. I was never a fitness-focused girl growing up, even though I did spread my interests sporadically among running, dance and tennis. I’m bad at sport commitment, I guess. When I got to college I met people who liked to run and work out and sort of started to get into it. One of the reasons my friendship blossomed with my friend Maren was because we started having gym dates when I was going through a rough patch. She became one of my best friends after that period. And she showed me that I could lift weights! I learned pretty quickly the power of getting yourself out the door when you feel crappy – afterward, you almost always feel better.
When I first moved to NYC I started running again. Given that I was a casual runner who mostly ran in the easy climates of Oregon and California, I had no idea the real challenges of running in the heat and humidity of the East Coast. It wasn’t a problem for long, though, because I quickly injured myself. This is an honest-to-goodness true sober story: I was walking home from seeing In The Heights for the first time with Kim, I was wearing sandals with almost no traction, and in my excitement I slipped in a curb cut and twisted my knee. I’m stupid, so I continued to run and hurt myself more. I had just started my new job and sort of let fitness disappear in favor of my long hours and happy hours and friendships.
A few months into dating Collin, his running enthusiasm got to me. I went to physical therapy briefly – it was awkward, one of the workers made fun of how my leg shook during the strength exercises, WTF – and managed to heal my knee somewhat. Over the winter Collin encouraged me to run in Prospect Park with him. It went pretty well, but I only went with him maybe once a month. Plus, it snowed. I’m not running in that! That spring I went for a run and stopped short, almost dying and gasping for air. I even wrote about my confusion with what the heck was wrong with me. I basically gave up on running, but my many doctor visits left clues in my head to figure this out.
The best, and somewhat lame, reasoning I have is related to allergies and breathing. I’m not a seasoned runner, but I’ve always been competitive. I wanted to run as fast as I could because that’s what I thought I should do. When I stopped I was gasping in pain, not realizing that I pushed too hard and wasn’t breathing properly. Add in allergies I didn’t know I had, and it’s no wonder I though I couldn’t run anymore. I didn’t realize that going slower and building up mileage and speed would make a difference. I gave up running again in favor of fitness videos and general laziness.
Once we got to Troy, I decided to try again. I bought new running shoes, since my old ones were from 2006 or something, and figured out my allergy situation. I saw my doctor and accepted that I did in fact have seasonal allergies, and just needed to find the right pill. Most importantly, I went slow. As I wrote earlier, my first run was sad and pathetic. I barely made it a mile. Since then I’ve set up a 2-mile route. I had to walk at times at first, but now I’m running solidly the two miles, pushing through that voice in my head that says it’s too hard and I should stop. Plus, Collin and I are taking little day trips and hiking, and I’m definitely feeling good.