Remember that old Tremclad paints commercial? You know, the one where they sing the little jingle about “stroking on the sunshine, right over the rust”? If only there was a gallon of Tremclad up to the task of hiding the rust on my running form, or painting over the fact my lungs can’t seem to keep up with my legs, or even just a little pint of it to gloss over the fact that I have made a lot of excuses these past 3 months to not run.
Yeah, a little Runner’s Rust-o-leum would do me a lot of good right now.
I had been on a really solid roll of 4 days of running each week for about 8 months. Some weeks I ran only 3 times, others up to 6. But I was in a groove. And then, all of a sudden, from that groove I tossed myself ass over electric kettle and landed in a deep rut.
I found every excuse I could to stay home, drink craft beers, watch hockey, and not run. It was legitimately one of the worst winters on record out here in the Maritimes of Canada’s east coast. February and March were snowier than Elsa’s forbidden Arendelle. The roads were extremely dangerous due to a lack of a shoulder, high snow banks, and treacherous icy conditions. I was tired and sore from all the shoveling and scraping. And I did get some exercise through other outdoor pursuits (the aforementioned shoveling, tobogganing, snowshoeing, snow fort building, and just plain old playing in the snow with our two kids). BUT… those were all comfortable little tales I would spin to myself in order to believe the lie that I simply couldn’t run.
I have always had this relationship with running. This on again, off again. The off again stages have been plagued by injury or busied with life with two kids or prolonged, like this past break-up, by my own web of “I can’t run today because” lies.
I know this about myself. I am a procrastinator. I have always been. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but this is different. A break makes me struggle to get back in the groove. A hiatus from running is like taking time off from work: Yeah it’s nice at first to have some time to yourself again, but when you want to come back, it’s tough not only to succeed, but also to regain what you once had. When the enjoyment of running is gone, the routine is broken, the joie de vivre fades. I think I need these lapses not to become fond of running again, but I need time away in order to find the happiness in running again.
I work to get the lungs back after a running vacation and I enjoy the work. I love feeling those minute incremental improvements in endurance.
I hurt for a few weeks upon returning to the routine and I like those little reminders that my muscles are working overtime.
I am hungry all the dang time when I run regularly and I love to eat and satisfy that hunger knowing I’ll burn twice the calories during my morning run.
But mostly I need these breaks in order to rediscover that which I love most about running: the mindfulness it creates.
For me, running is that “old friend you can count on and trust”.
The run-break-run routine is part of my #runhappiness.