I’ve got something to say about running. And I’m in an 80s/90s kind of mood since Captain Marvel is coming to the big screen later this week. So what better way to tell my “I love running again” story than with Top Gun gifs.
I feel the need, the need for speed!
Okay, so maybe not SPEED but… more than speed walking. Cause I’m frankly a little tired of walking. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
If you’ve been around here a while, you know my running journey has been a bit of a roller coaster.
I’ve never been in pink puffy heart love with it, exactly, but I’ve been in a pretty committed relationship for a few years.
And I’ve never been fast by any means, but I fell in love with the feeling of fast. There were some days that I felt I could FLY across the miles and that feeling, well… it’s the BEST. Any runner will tell you so.
It was enough to convince me that running was, indeed, fun.
Fast forward to a bunch of 5Ks, 10Ks and 22 half marathons later… I bit the big bullet.
I ran a marathon. I thought that was the next step, I thought it was “needed” as a runner.
Everyone runs marathons, right?
If you are new to running and believe this?
It’s NOT true! You do NOT need to run any specific distance or cross things off an arbitrary running goals list to be a runner.
If you run, you are a runner. Full stop.
So I ran a marathon.
I thought I’d be feeling this:
But… I did not.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Completing a marathon was cool in a lot of ways.
It was also a big scary thing. A very BIG SCARY thing.
The marathon was something I didn’t know I could do, and it was something I was terrified to even try.
So in one sense, it was a good, important growing experience.
And there was a tiny bit of this going on once the medal was around my neck.
As a mom in my 40s, I shouldn’t be scared to do big things.
I should be fearless.
I should be modeling behaviors that inspire my kids, right? Especially now that those kids are hitting the teen years and life is getting REALLY real around here.
So in that sense, the marathon is not a regret.
And yet… it is kinda a regret.
Because you know what happened in the weeks after I completed the marathon?
I lost that loving feeling.
It was gone, gone, gone… whoa whoooaaa whooooaaaa.
Weeks turned into months which has now turned into years.
I am not sure how often I was running.
But… it wasn’t much.
And honestly, I wondered if I was going to ever get back to having any fun on the road again.
I’ve been to races since- a lot of runDisney which is pretty much synonymous with fun- but they weren’t as fun as they once were- and I didn’t feel like a runner.
Uh, because I wasn’t running. Duh.
And that actually translated to me not having a lot of fun either.
And trust me: I’m not running for speed or records; I’m only in it for the way it makes me feel.
And having fun is definitely high on that list!
I wanted THAT feeling back. But I also didn’t know where to start.
The crazy thing was that I didn’t think I needed to run a lot to have fun… but it turns out I did.
The more often I walked, the more blah I felt about the whole thing. Walking was not helping me get out of this funk. I’m not talking about intervaling: I’m a complete believer in Galloway running.
I’m just saying when I was just walking- not even attempting intervals- I wasn’t feeling much joy.
So… here I was, heading into Princess Half Marathon weekend and kinda dreading running the 10K.
I was honestly trying to figure out how to get out of it but my friends were pretty much looking at me like this:
That little headshake that said, “get your butt on the course and quit WHINING already” was noted.
And that’s what I did. I wanted it over- and knew the fastest way to get it over was to, you know, run.
Nope, I was not going to set any records or even be fast by any means, but picking up the pace helped flip some sort of switch in my brain.
And that’s when, as they say, the magic happened.
The endorphins were flowing, the legs were moving, my heart rate got up… and dang, y’all, I was SMILING.
And I kept running. In fact, I was shocked to discover that muscle memory is apparently real and my legs just kept doing what I asked of them.
Around mile 5 I knew I was overdoing what my fitness level could truly handle and decided walking was ok again. But- guys- I did my intervals for a solid 5 miles which are about 4 miles more than I’ve done in a really long time.
And, even more importantly to me, I loved it.
I had fun again, I laughed, I smiled, and I was totally ok when the watch beeped at me to run my interval.
And I cannot wait to get back out there.
Running: we’re back together. And I’m going to try really hard not to lose that loving feeling ever again!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)