|At the age of 24, this was the sign I made for family and friends when I ran the 2008 NYC Marathon. Note my Steve Madden, yellow high-hells, circa 2007.|
Exercise was always a part of my parents' lives and of course became a part of mine. It was abnormal if you didn't do anything. I owe all my running experience to my father, John. He's been in my life since I was six and the idea of exercise as a part of life continued with his daily runs and of course the iconic "long-run" on Sunday mornings. At the age of 10, he would encourage me to try running a mile around the track. Aside from barely finishing, all I can remember is keeping on my swimsuit from an afternoon at the pool because my bikini top looked like a sports bra and that made me feel cool and grown-up. After two seasons of middle-school spring track (hey, we did win a big invitational that year) and of trying to get through five-mile runs, it was the summer before high school cross country season.
I didn't really like running. It was hard. Sometimes I would cry and pout if John made me go with him. I would get side-stitches all the time. My little legs just couldn't handle it. At 13/14 years old, I had just started developing (late bloomer here!). So John made a deal with me, "Try cross-country out for one season and if you hate it you never have to run a step again."
The exact opposite happened and I am forever thankful to John for this: I fell in love and became obsessed with running. After four years of high-school running with numerous team championships, personal success and a team of girlfriends that will forever hold a special place in my heart, I went on and founded Penn State's Club XC team, which still thrives today. And of course there was running in New York. While there was a lack of trails, it kept me structured and focused. I rarely went more than two days without logging a run down the West Side Highway or at least a loop around the park. I would wake up early before work to make sure I ran at least 40 minutes and then would always run at least 6-9 miles on Sundays. After multiple half-marathons and the 2008 NYC Marathon, running had become part of my New York identity.
I ran my last half-marathon on August 16, 2009 in 1:34. A personal best. I met Sir Lancelot on August 30, 2009 and I think that's when I slowly started falling out of love with running.
At first, I blamed it on a new relationship where nothing mattered but spending time together. Then I blamed it on starting a new job and winter weather. Then I blamed it on planning a wedding, then Sir L's mom's sickness, then preparing to move, then the move. Then we were in Paris and things didn't change. I still couldn't get my running groove back. And it still has not returned. Is it possible that my love for running was just a place-holder for love for my one-day husband?
Although Lancelot has picked up running since we met and really enjoys it, I find less enjoyment and motivation to get out the door. The runner's high that I used to so cherish has disappeared. While I still go out two or three times a week, my runs lack the intensity of the past and it was that intensity that made me keep going out there day after day.
I'm not sure why this has happened and if I'll ever get it back. Perhaps it's part of getting older - who knows. I do know that I would one day love to run another half-marathon (not sure about a marathon), but most importantly, I really want to feel that runner's high again... in Paris.
|A February run in Paris, 2010...when I slowly started losing the love.|