February 17, 2012

I am an everyday runner!

The last two weeks, I’ve gotten pretty used to the treadmill. It used to be the case that I’d only run if I was running outside – if I was at the gym, it was elliptical all the way. When I’m on the elliptical, pedaling away, the time flies by (well, at least if I am watching a TV show on the elliptical). But if I’m on the treadmill, I’m checking the time and distance every 5 seconds, wondering if my workout is done yet. (I know the common advice for this problem is to put a towel over the treadmill display, supposedly preventing you from looking at the time/distance, but my mother taught me how to play the piano when I was two, so I have pretty gifted hands that are capable of multitasking with my feet and pulling back the towel even when I’m still running).

But at the start of this project, I made it a goal to run more… and when I’m in a strange city that seems to have a seedy downtown, and the only hours in which I can run are early morning (when it’s dark) or late night (ditto), the treadmill is how I accomplish that. Last week, I managed to run three whole times out of my four days in Kansas City – which is I think a new record for me on a project.

This week, I didn’t hit the treadmill on Monday night when I got in, but only because it was a weight lifting day and I had a pretty lengthy routine to cover (I’ve expanded the Kara Goucher regimen with a few things I miss from the Rachel Cosgrove workouts, like dumbbell rows, military presses, and T-pushups). But Tuesday and Wednesday, I dutifully started my day with 2 miles on the treadmill. I know that’s nothing impressive compared to those of you who have managed to do crazy things like crank out a 10 mile long run on the treadmill (no, thanks – I’ll take my chances with cold/inclement weather if I’m going that far!), but for me, running any distance on a near-daily basis is an accomplishment.

Today, after a late night out with coworkers, I woke up feeling like I had probably eaten too much (we went for barbecue and beers). Not hungover, and not sick, but just comfortably full to the point where I had no interest in breakfast. I woke up surprisingly on time (not an inconsequential feat after one of these all night team outings), and headed down to the gym – surprisingly happy to be going. It was a good way to start the day!

I had set today aside as another strength training day, and after completing my lifting, I headed back up to my hotel room to shower and get ready for the day. But even as I did so, something felt off. First, I blamed the barbecue. Or maybe it was the fact that I had five drinks (which, pathetically, is a “big night” for me these days) over the course of the long night. But when I arrived at the office and still felt heavy and not myself, I thought about what I wanted at the moment. Was it coffee? No. A bigger breakfast? No.

And then it hit me – what my body was craving was not food or drink, but a run. Seriously, you guys, I was itching to run – to the point where I more than once checked my calendar to see if there was any way I could sneak back to the hotel for an hour and squeeze in a few miles and a shower. (Sadly, no dice – work was crazy all this week). I couldn’t believe how badly I was craving a run, and that was when it hit me.

I have done it – I have become an everyday runner! To me, this is an accomplishment nearly as big as running a marathon is to many of you. I have long said that despite all my marathons, I don’t feel like a “real” runner – but today, that itchiness at not running made me feel like I’ve crossed a threshold.

Tomorrow morning? I don’t know if it will be the treadmill or my neighborhood (hooray for being home), but it doesn’t matter. IT. IS. ON.


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