This morning I woke up to GCB’s alarm. This in and of itself isn’t so odd, but what is odd is that today was the GO! St Louis marathon.
That I didn’t run.
After he left for work, I got out of bed, walked across the living room, and opened the blinds. I stood there watching hundreds of people running in a race that just last year I was singing and chanting and in some points skipping my way through.
It’s the first half marathon in St Louis that I’ve missed since October. Of 2011.
The feeling was bittersweet.
You see, running and I have had a very tumultuous relationship for the past little while. Remember last August? I do. I HATED running at that point. And I hated that I hated it so much.
I’ve been a runner for the better part of my life. Hating it felt odd, alien.
A couple weeks ago I set out to take a walk through Forest Park. I haven’t really done a whole lot in the way of physical activity since the marathon, and it was one of the (rare) beautiful days we had earlier this “spring.” Once I got out there I realized I couldn’t just walk. I was tingling with the anticipation I normally got before a run I wanted to do.
WANTING to run again is one of the most beautiful feelings.
So I did what I normally do, turned on some music and went to set my watch timer, and was stopped dead in my tracks.
My watch still carries my marathon time.
I couldn’t erase it. That time, though maybe not what I intended on it being, means something to me. It means
bull-headedness determination. It means doing something greater than I’ve ever done. It means dealing with an abhorrence of something that’s always been my solace and somehow pushing through it anyway. It means being so damn stubborn that quitting was just not an option, even if it meant hobbling eight miles through various Disney parks. I am more proud of that time now than I was the first month after I finished that race.
So I left the time where it was. And I ran.
Just because I felt like it.
I’d like to say that muscle memory and still being in decent shape helped me have an awesome run, but, well, people fall quite a bit when instead of working out, after work habits include eating columns of Oreos, watching too much TV, and gratuitous napping. It was a short run, punctuated by walking and side stitches and that pesky little voice in the back of my head that yells “DUDE, they’re watching you stop.”
And it was the most glorious run ever. Because I MISSED it. Because it reminded me of what I loved.
Because it reminded me that mile splits and sub-8 minute mile goals and being better than anyone out there is not the point. The point is to feel free, content, relaxed.
I don’t think I’ll time anymore runs.
The stress, anxiety, flashbacks to those horrible feelings are not worth it.
It’s finally spring. My running shoes are bright pink. Bright pink seems like a perfect color to paint this city with.
New apartment, new running locations (like the steps under the Arch), new attitude.