Absence of Running

I’ll let you in on a little secret..

I’m not one of those people who just can’t wait to get up at the wee hours before dawn and run.

Most of the time on my runs, I count the miles I have left.

I run to eat.

I eat to run.

I’m not fast.

Running in the desert heat has been a huge struggle for me.

BUT. I can feel a change in my body and mood when I don’t run. I become lazy and start teetering on the brink of depression. I’m anxious. I mentally count every calorie and feel guilty about things I shouldn’t be eating.  I start comparing myself in a negative way with other runners/athletes I follow on Facebook and Instagram.

I took a couple days off because I had an “upper respiratory infection”. I’m not even going to lie; I didn’t mind having a reason not to run. I ran long on Sunday, begrudgingly, and even more so because I had to start earlier than normal. It was okay… not great, not defeating. Just.. a run. So for the past couple days, I slept, a LOT, and didn’t actually miss the getting out to run part that much.

This morning I Skyped with my husband, which is a usual thing on Wednesdays, so I decided to run this afternoon. It was 79*, HUMID (67%), and super sweaty, but it was good. My pace was “slow”, but since I got the run done I really didn’t care.

During a run like I said I’m usually counting down the miles if Nike+ isn’t doing it for me. I’m trying to control my breathing and my stride. I love it when I run early and can see my shadow on walls or my reflection in windows… I look strong, fit, unstoppable. I’m usually the only person running when I’m out and I own it.

When I get home from a run, I’m so glad it’s over. But I love that I have a good reason to take a hot shower, to eat some food and stretch. I don’t know about you, but it feels weird to stretch when I haven’t done anything! If the run is less than 6-7 miles, I feel energized. I feel proud that I can post proof of my run. It feels good that I got through the mental battles of “Should I run or not?” and “This part of El Paso is not pretty at all, and it stinks like dog crap.”

I wish I could be one of those runners

that just can’t wait to get out there,

that gets crazy taper madness (I so look forward to resting more in those weeks before a long race!),

that goes crazy during “zero week” (I enjoy every single minute of it!!),

that has energy to cross-train after running or on rest days….

but in a very strange way, the absence of running does make my heart grow fonder.