This week I ran 31.1 miles. Nothing crazy - in the grand scheme of my running life we're talking like sophomore year cross country mileage. I skipped one day that I probably shouldn't have because I decided to spend the day frolicking around NYC [here for a summer clinical, it's my favorite city IN THE WORLD and I am basically over the moon with happiness. Although I miss Andrew.] but I'm OK with that because hi...first weekend to myself in New York. So 31.1 miles...the majority of them easy, none of them workouts, nothing to write home about. BUT...this week, for the first time in a LONG time...I felt like I was finally going somewhere.
I feel like I've spent the last 4-odd months, and hell, to be honest, the majority of the last couple of years, in just a weird holding pattern with running. Ever since Baystate 2010, there's been injury after injury, no racing, thyroid issues up the butt, and the life stress of school on top of it all. Looking back, I can hardly believe that that person who ran a 3:22 was me; it seems like some sort of bizarre and miraculous dream. I don't feel like I'm that runner anymore. I've been going through the motions, thwarted by injury at every turn, and basically done nothing worthwhile running-wise since then. I've stagnated, I've done just enough to avoid getting fat and even that hasn't been completely successful (NOT calling myself fat...but the ~10 pound weight gain over the past year I certainly could do without). And there have been times, especially over the past few months, where I've wondered: what is even the point? I felt ruined, mainly by this whole thyroid debacle. I'm not ashamed to admit that there have been times when I've been in tears wondering whether losing my thyroid has ruined me as a runner. Whether it took my speed, my competitive drive, my strength. I wonder whether I will EVER race well again I haven't since the surgery, not that there's a very large sample size to pick from since I think I've raced 3 times since then. And that's been hard, because it's not something I can easily talk about to anyone. I know at a certain point my mom and Andrew eventually grow really sick of hearing about it because, well, it's only running and who really cares if you never PR again, running's not your career. Don't you just do it because you love to run?
But then I remember. I AM that same runner who ran a 3:22 marathon. I did break 20 in the 5K. And there is NO reason why I cannot do those things again, besides that fact that I've been lazy - well, and injured. But that stopped being a good excuse 2 months ago. And, what the hell, it's going to be hard, it's not necessarily going to be pretty, and it may take awhile, but I'll be damned if I can't get back to being that runner again.
Which brings me, finally, back to my original point of this post. Dear lord, I do go off on some ridiculous tangents. But again I think I have approximately 4 readers if that, annd this blog is basically my brain dump so I DON'T have to torture my boyfriend or my mother...so deal with it. SO - this week...running when I didn't feel like it and the weather was shit and my legs were tired from being on my feet all day...I felt like - hey, keep this up and you might actually go somewhere! So my hope is that maybe, just maybe, I finally have hit rock bottom of this running slump and that there's nowhere to go but up. Yeah, there's a loooong way to go to get back to the level of fitness I was at a year and a half ago...but can I do it? Sure. And I think being here in NYC with the fabulousness of Central Park and random 5Ks all over the place might be just the thing to start the climb back to awesomeness. :)