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I Found That Loving Feeling

Posted Jan 11 2013 8:15am

It was only for a moment, but it’s not yet a fleeting thing.

Last night, I planned to run.

Really.

I was going to leave work, head home, suit up and head out.

But then, I lost the little bit of enthusiasm I was holding onto after a long day at the office.

So instead, I left work, headed home, suited into pajamas, played on the computer, suited out of pajamas, took a bath, suited back into PJs and ordered some sushi for dinner (that cooking thing is going really well, yeah — thanks for asking).

I didn’t end up running.

Something semi-magical happened, though.

The sunrises this week have been downright killer. The actual “take your breath away” kinds of sunrises. Maybe I should have a sleepover so you can all come over and see the sunrises for yourselves? Brian will cook us pancakes.

I was in the bath, doing the usual thing I do where I get into the empty tub as soon as the water starts flowing so I get warm right away but then, inevitably, by the time the bath is full, I’m hot, bored and ready to get out.

Anyway.

I was reading the February issue of Runner’s World and read an article about Marc Parent, who writes the magazine’s monthly “Newbie Chronicles” column.

That picture is the best. He’s so happy! Why does he look so happy, and whenever I’m done racing I look like I’ve just emerged from war?

Normally this isn’t my favorite column. Mr. Newbie writes a fantastic piece each month, and I always read — or at least skim — it. But while I’m still dumb and naive (you mean running slowly all the time won’t somehow make me fast?) about running, I’m not necessarily brand new to it. So his stories of first-time chafing, new shoes and uncharted miles don’t typically resonate with me.

I had time to kill in the tub last night, so I read his column, which was blown-out to a whole feature this time.

Parent talked about running his first half marathon — the Runner’s World Half Marathon, naturally, this past fall.

He talked about his emotions leading up to the race.

He talked about his excitement, his anxiety, his fears and his terrible “non-confidence boosting” last long training run.

Ha. Maybe I CAN relate to what he’s writing about!

He talked about eating his pre-race bagel, he talked about asking his family to cheer really loud next time they saw him, and he talked about his “seriously, another hill?” feelings out on the course.

He talked about loving that race.

He talked about finishing that race.

By the time Parent had proudly crossed his finish line, I was ready to think about my next one.

CLOSE YOUR MOUTH, ALISON. Every single race photo…always…mouth wide open.

I forgot how inspiring and motivating first-time racers can be.

After the Manchester City Marathon , I haven’t wanted to race. I haven’t signed up for a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon or a 26.2. I haven’t felt the desire to train and I haven’t been itching to wear a bib.

Go ahead. Count my chins. It’s OK, I’ll wait.

Last night, that changed. At least a little bit.

I spent a decent amount of post-bath time researching races of all distances with my pruney little fingers.

I’m not ready to commit to a race yet. I need to let this feeling hang around for a while before I decide when I’ll be ready to jump into a training cycle, and how intense I’ll want it to be.

I’m enjoying the junk miles and I’m enjoying doing other things like spinning and taking baths.

Oh SoulCycle, you expensive, beautiful bitch.

But, at the risk of scaring this feeling away, I’m ready to start searching. Not registering. Not training. Just Googling. And thinking about swapping out my spin shoes once or twice a week and getting back into the Brooks.

I’m ready to start running workouts I’m proud of. Yeah, I’ll fail at plenty of them. But I miss that feeling you get when you dominate a tough speedwork session. (Actually…has that ever happened to me? Maybe I’m just imagining what it would feel like.)

Back into training mode = ditching the phone and focusing on speed.

We’re taking it slowly this time, me and the races.

One Google search at a time.

And then, eventually, one mile at a time.

I’m pretty sure that if I have a training plan, I’ll actually get out of bed before this beautiful thing happens. It’s OK. I’ve gotten my fill.

One hill repeat at a time.

And maybe, when I get there, we’ll start seeing PRs. One at a time. No pressure.

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