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January 01, 2013

SO...I RAN TODAY

The end of summer was always so blissful for me.  While all of my friends were lamenting over the thought of going back to school, I quietly got great satisfaction out of making my "back to school list."  My organized-mother would have us fill out an index card with a list of what we currently had - 6 pairs of white socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of jeans, 3 t-shirts, 4 pencils, 7 black pens, etc.  She would combine our list of what we had, with her list of what we needed; and crank out a master list of what was left to be purchased....it was always the *secret* highlight of my year.

For me, new things, like school clothes and supplies, always symbolize a do-over.  I can do things differently, better, or, if I'm really risky,  not at all. 

So, as I sat this week and made my list of goals for 2013...my do-overs...the things I wanted to change, be better at, or just forget that I ever tried them...running kept rearing it's head, screaming "hey, what about me?"

And, hey what about running?

It's been a good three years since I've actually trained for something...ran for a purpose.

There's been all sorts of reasons...defenses...excuses...for my lack of running.  If I listed all of the cop-outs I've used over the last three years...I'd still be here typing in another three years.

So, I sucked up my pride; pulled my Garmin out of the drawer; and retrieved my running shoes from the farthest depths of my closet.

And I showed up to the track club's annual New Year's Day run.

I was surprised at how many of the faces I didn't recognize.  There is a whole new crew of runners when you sit out for this long.  The people that I do know...well, I haven't seen most of them in so long...especially not on this turf...it was awkward and a little uncomfortable but I vowed to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.

As I suspected, I was the only person running at my pace; and since the runs were 5.5+ miles, I knew I would eventually - or entirely - be running alone.

And, it was in those first few minutes of running that I realized what I missed the most about running...

The comfortable solitude. 

I wasn't far enough back to not be able to see the rest of the group, but I was far enough back to be in my own running world...steering my thoughts towards the New Year...new goals...new resolutions...and maybe even a new Garmin.  I was able to have 30 minutes of peace and quiet (I don't get that often with a toddler running around all day)...30 minutes of doing something for myself just because I could.  Not because I needed to.  Not because I had to.  Just because I wanted to.

I forgot what that feeling was like.

So, as I begin 2013...with a slow three mile run...I am reminded of all those years of do-overs...and all the opportunities given...and all the opportunities taken away.  My hope for 2013 is that I find as much satisfaction in running as I have in all my many do-overs over the last 36 years.

Happy 2013.

1 comment:

Char said...

That's why I like the new year too. I don't do the whole big party New Year's Eve thing. I just like to evaluate the last year and see where I want to head in the next 12 months. And then start the year on a good note. Happy 2013!