Thursday, March 14, 2013

Moving forward

I have been trying to say good-bye to running for about 5 years. It has been a prolonged grieving period, but it's time to move on.   I have finally accepted that my knees feel so much better when I don't run. I'd rather do things that support my health (like swimming, biking, yoga, eating well, drinking red wine, laughing, walking my dog, feeding my birds, gardening - so many options!) than break me down. As a little good-bye gift to me, here are some of my fondest memories of running:

*The running program at my elementary school in Concord, NH - we had four different choices for running routes. We did our runs (or walks) right before recess. What an amazing (and forward-thinking) school. We also had healthy snacks available to buy (fresh popcorn, apple slices, or peanut butter on whole wheat bread).

*Running with friends - especially Suzanne, Manda, Joan & Erin. I wish I could back in time for just one more Saturday run with them. (Okay - I just burst into tears).

*Running a variety of 5Ks in Richmond - I was stunned when I came in third in my age group in my first one. Where did that come from? Over time, I was able to throw down a few sub 21:00 minute 5Ks. It's hard to imagine running a 6:45 pace nowadays, but I had it in me when I was in my 30s.

*Running with Collegiate's cross-country team (for 7 years) - lots of hard runs, lots of great kids.Those kids certainly helped lower my 5K time. Try running with high school kids!  They are speedy.

*Meeting Rick - we would talk between our half-mile repeats on Saturday mornings. I tried my best to keep up with that guy so I could talk to him a bit between intervals. After one of those workouts, I had coffee with Suzanne, Manda & Erin. I confided in them that I liked "this guy named Rick."

*Running the Boston marathon - my favorite road race ever. Qualifying for it was rough (I was running on very, very tired legs), but the actual race was magical.

*Early morning runs in the dark and cold - some might think them lonely, but I found them peaceful.

*And every run in between.

I used to be so sad when I thought of saying good-bye to running. I denied it and tried to outwit my body with knee injections and knee braces. Silly me. With time comes a more sensible attitude.   I am grateful that I had so many amazing experiences and memories associated with running. It's time for me to apply that same attitude towards other activities.


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