I restarted the run in earnest on August 1st, 2009. I decided to go back to the real beginning just to look at how far I’ve come (again). I went back a journal started on November 10th, 2005 – the day I actually dared to call myself a runner. No. I take that back because I actually said I felt like a runner. There is a different between feeling like one and actually being one. I have to laugh. On November 10th I ran 2.2 miles without stopping. I was absolutely seriously obsessed with sirsy, determined to run through an entire album. Even back then I said I pounded it out to the drums, yet the lyrics sometimes pushed me more. This time around I started with 3.54 miles.
My second run was four days later and somehow I found myself running 2.77 miles. Still running to sirsy and discovering we live on a hill. I have to laugh. The hills around the apartment are nothing like the hills around the house. And to think I thought all roads led up before…I just hadn’t met Pendleton.
Fast forward to run #17 because that’s where I’m at now. Back on December 20th, 2005 I was cornered by a crush. He talked my ear off while I tried to run at the gym. I ended up walking. 2.28 miles. 2.28 miles of nothing. Even now as I reread my words I can feel my frustration coming back. I remember thinking my engagement ring meant nothing to this guy. Blah blahblah. Today’s run 17 was the promise of not going over four miles. Four miles in 41 minutes. Me, myself and moi. Alone in the home gym. No crush in sight. Favorite song of the night: Super Freak covered by Dave Matthews.
So. What to make of these comparisons? Not much. I am faster this time around. I spend less time outside and more time stretching the quads. Back then I was single-minded in my choice of music. It was sirsy sirsy sirsy all the time. Now my ipod shuffles me through playlist after playlist. Back when I was starting this run thing I needed something to mark my progress. Listening to the same album every time allowed me to get further and further, song by song. I find it funny I couldn’t get past Please Let Me Be on my first run. I could run circles around sirsy now. But! But. But, here’s what hasn’t changed. My hips are still out of whack. I feel unhinged after a particularly hard run. My knee protests a little and every “day after” feels like I’ve aged 10 years. Every joint pops and sometimes I feel like I am 300lbs. In other words, it’s still not easy.
But look how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t want it any other way.