The alarm goes off. It’s always a little too early. I would love to stay in my warm bed, or get up and just watch TV, or make myself a relaxed breakfast. But I do none of those things. I get out of bed, eat my quick and carefully calibrated breakfast, get dressed, and tie on the special shoes. Then I leave for my run.
In 2005 I made a generic resolution to add more exercise to my life. That spring I traveled to watch my mother run the Boston Marathon. It was my mom’s fifth or so marathon but it was the first one I was able to be at. Watching your mother cross the finish line of a marathon is an interesting kind of motivation – it’s inspiring and a little bit shaming. If Mom can run 26 miles surely I can at least jog a few times a week. I had run in the past, though I had never managed to keep going for more than a few months before I would lapse back into inactivity. I knew I would be more likely to follow through if I had a specific goal so I changed my resolution to finishing a half-marathon and started looking for a race.
I decided to register for Bay to Breakers (7.4 miles) that May and for a half-marathon in San Jose (13.1 miles) that October and began training. There were setbacks and issues along the way but I finished both races. Yay for me! Then my recovery time from the half-marathon stretched out and suddenly it was five months later and I hadn’t run at all. Again.
So in 2006 I recommitted to my running and finished the same two races, and lapsed into the same inactivity for the winter. 2007, rinse and repeat.
I got back into a running mode earlier in 2008 than I have in previous years. I added another race this year too; I ran a half marathon in San Francisco in early August. This November, after my last race of the year I took two weeks off, and then started to run again right away.
But my running fell apart in mid-December. I was transitioning between two jobs, my strange schedule and the holidays conspired to keep me in my slippers. A few days ago I realized something new. I missed it. That has never happened before. I’ve always treated running as something I have to do because that helps me get out the door. For the first time I realized that running was something I wanted to do. Not running is no longer okay.
When I wake up early this Friday morning, to eat my quick breakfast and tie on the special shoes so I can run two miles before getting to work, I will smile on my way out the door. Because a long ago resolution to finish one race has created something new. I am a runner now. And that is a good thing to be.
@@@This is my entry for week 14 of LJ Idol – the topic is ‘resolute’. Per usual, I'll post a link to the poll on Friday once it is up. Thank you for reading.@@@