Friday, April 15, 2011

*L* Long Run

There was a time when it was really no big deal for me to hit the pavement or the treadmill for a couple of hours at a time. 10 miles, 12 miles, even 14 or more. Even when I wasn't necessarily training for a long race, if I felt like a long run, I could make it happen without much effort.

I just can't figure out why I can't seem to get my head in the correct space to make that happen anymore. I think I want to do it. I know I'm capable of doing it. I don't think it's a physical thing, I really don't. I might have to slow down a little bit, but I am certain that my body can still carry me that far.

I have the time to do it right now. I have more time now than I did when I was ticking off those miles so easily. So, what's the deal?

Was I running from something back then? I think that might have been the case. I was running to make myself numb. Running until my thoughts blurred out, or jumped and shuffled around in the comforting way they do when you are 10 miles in. I don't feel the same need to get to that empty space anymore, but I kind of miss it.

I guess these days I am not running for the same reasons I had when I started. Early on (years before the longs runs came so easily) I was running to transform myself. I was trying to break free of the literal and figurative weight that was holding me down. And, it worked. I shed a little of my old self with every mile, and with every step, I came closer to the person I am now.

These days, I sort of take running for granted. I run because I don't know how to stop running, but it's not that I want to stop. It seems like I have lost not only the numbness and comfort I used to get from a long run, but also the joy I used to feel from accomplishing something and knowing that my body was strong and capable.

I suppose I can never get back the same kind of drive and hunger I had in the beginning, because I am in such a different place in my life now. The missing puzzle pieces that I tried to fill up with running are now in their proper place. But, oh long run, how I miss you. I've got to find someway back to you.


MISH said...

Hey Jennifer ~~ I'm visiting from the A~Z Challenge ...
I've never been a runner , but I was a gym & aerobic fanatic back in the day ... Now , I don't do any gym or aerobics at all ... but I often think back to those times & the person I was then ...
I suppose we grow , mature , find new interests , life gets in the way , ...
Enjoy the rest of the A~Z Challenge !