I was looking forward to lacing up yesterday. It was my first day of a 33-day military order which allows me 3 hours of fitness time per week during the duty day. The weather was nice, a bit windy, but nice, coming off a stressful holiday weekend. Turning on my rusty RunKeeper app, I was prompted to run for 26.2 minutes for the Boston Marathon. Don’t mind if I do!
I have missed being able to run around within the safety of the base’s gates without having to run into my family time in the evening. Shortly after moving to where we live now, I would go for early morning runs before my husband went to work, but was quickly discouraged when I was harassed every time I went out. I had never experienced this harassment in our previous neighborhood no matter what time I went out. I appreciate running on base because there is very little traffic to navigate, there aren’t any hills to tromp up or down, and everyone around supports physical health and fitness—I’ve never experienced harassment while running here.
It has been difficult since having my daughter who is almost three now, to consistently make time for physical fitness, be it running or going to the gym or whatever. She literally attaches herself to me, and with my husband now working overnight, time is extremely limited. Knowing I was coming on a month-long order, I signed myself up for a few races to motivate me to train. Maybe I am setting my expectations a bit high, but I have signed up for the 2017 Boston Run to Remember, which is a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers and first responders. I ran in the 2013 five-mile race with my friend, while my husband ran the half. I remember it being a really crappy day, but a really nice course. The previous year, I “ran” the Manchester half marathon in New Hampshire on virtually no training, it was a terribly trying route, I experienced debilitating Morton’s Neuroma (MN) pain where I had to stop, take my shoe off, rub my foot before carrying on. Terrible experience. That was the only half I’ve ever “run,” if you can even call it running. More like crawling.
Last month, I participated in the annual Holyoke St Patrick’s Road Race which is a hilly 10k. This month—this weekend, actually—I am participating in a GoRuck Light, which is an appx 7 mile ruck. This past weekend, my husband completed a Tough Ruck affiliated with the Boston Marathon. I missed registration and despite my attempts to acquire a bib, the organization would not sell me one, so I signed up for a GoRuck instead to quiet my jealousy. Next year, I will be registering for the Tough Ruck.
So here I am, gearing up for a half marathon, and yesterday I began training and I hated every step. I made it a mile before I started feeling the MN in my foot. My lungs felt tight. It was just an uncomfortable-feeling run in general, which was pretty disappointing given how much I was looking forward to it. I committed to running 26.2 minutes, and I know I can do it if I just stick with it, so I just did it. I was hoping I would feel good afterwards, but honestly, I didn’t. Maybe I was still feeling heavy from my big Easter dinner.
But if I’m going to meet my goal, I must keep going. Keep trying. Keep lacing up. Keep fighting. I keep remembering “where I used to be,” and keep wanting to get back to that place. Where I could just run and run until time ran out. Where people knew me as “a good runner.” Where two miles was a warm-up.