Yesterday I had one of those runs. You know the kind – the kind where you remember “Oh yeah, this is why people run! It’s not utter madness after all!”
I started around 8 am. My morning coffee was doing its job admirably – I could speak in coherent sentences AND I got myself dressed in a reasonable amount of time! With shoes tied and everything! My husband, baby, and dog were all accounted for and all in states of relative tranquility. I stepped outside.
The sky was a bright crisp blue, the temperature in the low 40s. Superb running weather, with no hint of the blustery afternoon that would arrive a few hours later. I swear, the air actually smelled fresh. And I dressed in the correct amount of layers, always a victory, and a skill I’m currently re-learning.
I felt good. I felt light. My calves and shins and all the rest of me stayed quiet. Feeling optimistic, I chose to do the “backwards” version of my trusty neighborhood loop, which seems to have more uphills. I had double motivation: the day before, a couple of friends of mine had run Albuquerque’s Shamrock Shuffle 5k. Not an easy course, but they conquered it with flying colors. And Sunday was the day of the New York City Half Marathon. I didn’t personally know anyone running it, but I had seen enough about it on social media to catch a little of the excitement.
My neighborhood hills put up their usual respectable fight, but I pumped my arms and pushed myself. I tried to toe the line between “healthy exertion” and “really stupid exertion” and on that run, I think I managed to do it successfully. Praise God and all the runner angels.
I ran up my cul-de-sac to finish, imagining myself in the home stretch of a race. Any race. When I stopped, I was breathing harder than I had in months. It felt fantastic. Rather than leaving me with less – less stress, less hormonal messiness, less weight of any kind – it felt like that run left me with more. More strength, more clarity, more capability, more conscious happiness.
That was my best postpartum run so far. I wanted to share the victory with you, and use it as a stamp of faith that there will be many runs like it in the future.
May your next run do as much for you as this one did for me.