It's two in the morning and I should have written this two days ago, at least, if I wanted to truly capture the excitement I felt at the time. Regardless, Saturday morning I embarked on my first run since giving birth in September.
Of course, as will happen in eight weeks time over the fall in New England, it was much, much colder than last time I ran, and windy too, but certainly just as joyful. The first steps felt really deliberate and strange, the uphills felt hard, and the wind was sharp in my throat and lungs, but it all felt wonderful.
Refreshed from my hiatus, I have rose-colored glasses firmly affixed on my head.
I ran three miles in 27 minutes and 13 seconds along neighborhood streets so familiar now that my legs and body navigate them without a second thought. This time I moved faster than I have in more than two months and solo instead of with a pregnant belly or behind our jogger, though I plan for the route to be as familiar to Henry as it is to me in time.
Now I plan to continue to ease in, every few days at first and with scaled back effort. It would be easy to let my excitement get the best of me (I've been so tempted to join the winter version of the Runner's World run streak beginning Thanksgiving day), but I want to continue uninjured and with the real enjoyment I discovered over the past nine-plus months.
While I sort of plan to add some races to the calendar in spring -- a marathon, I really hope -- for now I'm trying hard to keep my runner's high and optimism in check, simply running because of the happiness it brings me and the fitness it provides, rather than as an exclusive means to achieve a goal. I still desire a fit body and quicker PRs, but hope they will be within reach by running with... passion?... desire?... all of these words sound dramatic and overblown... instead of to check a workout off the schedule: to savor the miles and the course instead of counting down to the finish line.