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Running and Falling Away

May 20, 2014

A half-marathon kind of morning

Saturday I ran the 5k for speed. Sunday I went for a long run, intending to break 10 miles for the first time. I felt so good, I went for a full half marathon, and did it. I’m very, very proud. And happy. Happy-proud.

This is the best and longest obsession I’ve had since I became a dedicated bookworm around third or fourth grade, when I got in trouble in reading class, for reading. You read that right. I was reading instead of paying attention. My mother still shakes her head over that one. Likewise, in high school when I would get all day detention (for excessive tardies, another head-shaker), I would borrow an upperclassman’s English text and read that, or bind up a complete copy of the Lord of the Rings (to make it look like a textbook) and just read all day. I still sometimes read more than I should, and have to force myself to stop so that I can actually work or see my family.

Running is now that kind of obsession. I’m steadily heading toward running every day – not as a goal, but because I really, really want to.

And I’m reading like mad, everything I can get my hands on in the library, and reddit.com/r/running, and blogs, and all. I’m getting a little obsessed with the idea of not just doing a marathon, but an ultra marathon. Maybe even …no, not maybe even. If I’m honest, I’ve always dreamed about doing a cross country something. Yeah, it was a corny movie, but Forrest Gump really got me with that part about him running back and forth across the US. That’s always been a dream of mine. Probably why The Hobbit/LOTR is such a huge thing for me (and similarly, Watership Down, and The Stand). They WALK and RIDE across an entire continent, basically, and most of the book isn’t really about the adventure and the danger, but the sheer act of being together and planning ahead and dealing with stuff, all with an end goal in mind.

That’s it. That’s the thing for me.

I was just a kid, somewhere in the 9 to 11 age range, and living near Fort Worth. I remember saying to my mom how great it would be to just walk or bicycle to downtown – you could see the buildings in the middle distance. And she said, “it’s farther than it looks”.  I’m just now starting to get that something like that is MORE than possible. Hell, downtown Dallas is just 13 miles from my door.

Another big thing: I finally remembered to use my inhaler before Saturday’s 5k, which I wanted to run as fast as possible. (Final average pace: 9:56. Mission accomplished.)  And it was fantastic, I wasn’t fighting with my lungs like I have my entire life. My ENTIRE life I’ve sprinted, my windpipe has closed up, and I was done. I didn’t know that was a thing, I just thought that’s what happened when you ran too fast, and that I was a wuss because I couldn’t push through it. I can’t overstress what a huge breakthrough it is to realize that’s not so. In mile 11 or 12 of the (unofficial, not a race) half marathon I did Sunday, I got that realization, and then I’m just running down the road all teary and shit because it’s so freeing. I’m not a wuss, I’m a runner. I’m good at something. Not fast (seriously, most of the time, forget fast), but good.

So yeah. I’m a little into it.

-Jen

Music:
“You fall away from your past, but it’s following you…”
Fall Away, by The Fray

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2014 6:41 pm

    This is so awesome, and so are you! Welcome to the world of running for the fun of it!

  2. May 20, 2014 6:57 pm

    I always used to get in trouble for reading too! In class, when I was supposed to be sleeping… you name it. xD

    I’m so glad to hear that you have fallen in love with running. 😀 Congratulations on the huge distance on Sunday!

  3. May 20, 2014 8:04 pm

    I am excited for you and your running fool self! Run, Forrest!

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