I’ve had an on again, off again relationship for running since high school. I ran the required warm up laps prior to field hockey games and dabbled in a little running mainly as a way to stay fit for swim season. In college, my amazing roommate encouraged me to run. She was a cross country runner herself, the daughter of Ironman competing parents. We logged some serious miles together, even training for and competing in a couple of sprint triathlons.
After college, I moved to a new city to be with my boyfriend of many years only to promptly break up. I didn’t know anyone in town, save the newly former boyfriend and I felt lost in a way I’d never experienced before. On a whim, I treated myself to new pair of running shoes. Because money was tight in those lean post-college days, I signed up for a race (my first and only half marathon) as a way to motivate myself and to ensure that the shoe investment was worth it. I printed out the first training plan I found online and in so doing, I suddenly gained a schedule, goals, and something with which to fill my time. Evenings that once stretched endlessly before me now had purpose: run 6 miles. Those miles not only helped me to pass the loneliest time, that time after work and before it’s acceptable to be in bed, but they introduced me to my new city, my newly adopted home. With each training week, I gained back a little of my lost confidence, learned new neighborhoods and pockets of the city, and slowly began to find myself again. That time was definitely my sweetest and most committed season of running.
Since that time, I’ve been less committed to my relationship with running. Between getting married, going to grad school, having babies, there just never seemed to be the time for running. Sacrilege, I know.
The past six months have been tough ones for me and for my family. With great joy we welcomed our second son, but man, that newborn season is rough. In the midst of those hazy first few newborn months, we moved our family to the mountains of North Carolina. While this was a move we had long dreamed of making, the actuality of making the move was so much harder than we anticipated. The new city, the loneliness and lack of community felt altogether too familiar to that post college time. But this time, I knew exactly what I needed to do: I laced up those running shoes and got to work.