I went for a nice run this morning without knowing that it was National Running Day. Wow, it's kinda like "I'm a poet and didn't even know it." Anyway, for this middle aged gal, it was no easy undertaking. I just started running again after taking a hiatus last September.
Between my partner's health problems, trying to run a small business that requires hours on the computer and physical ailments from years of running abuse, I was ecstatic to finish two and half miles without the bands on the side of my knees kicking out. I even managed to do a sprint interval for about a hundred yards without leaving my pelvic girdle on the ground.
There was a time when I kicked ass at running and had these crazy dreams about making it to the Summer Olympics. The year Carl Lewis was jumping (1996?) I was in top condition for a 38 year old. I was cross training and fit as hell.
One of the best compliments I remember receiving during that summer was running down a main street towards Union College campus and a group of folks were sitting out on their stoops. One black man observed "That's how I wanna look!"
In that moment I felt I had transcended gender and race to become somebody to aspire to, somebody whose hard work to develop physically was being appreciated.
It was also during that time period that the Orthopedic surgeons told me that degenerative arthritis was setting into my right hip and that I shouldn't be running any longer. They suggested swimming or biking.
But if you are a runner, then you will understand why I couldn't, wouldn't stop. I ran continuously for years after, suffering through iliotibial band syndrome, achilles strains, hip and back aches.
After I resigned from teaching and started going through menopause, it was harder for me to get out there like I had been doing since I was fifteen years old. Life just seemed to get in the way and I found myself running less and less.
My son told me the other day if I couldn't run anymore, then I should take up biking, following his suggestion with a politically incorrect statement about wearing a helmet and laughing. His wise ass comments hit a nerve and I became determined, damn my age and my problems and started running again last week.
The first couple of days I could barely make a mile, thanks to my bands. But today, I was back and I felt it. I can't run every day any more, but I am working on an every other day schedule coupled with target training on my abs and glutes. Now all I need to do is to start a new sneaker fund for myself cuz my sneaks are shot and my arches are killing me!
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