For the first time in over a year, I ran more than two miles, which is a really good feeling. It was probably about as slow as I am walking, but I'm excited to hopefully be able to build up my miles for running. I really miss having a body that was capable of doing the things that I could when I was in high school, or even as short a time ago as college. I never considered myself terribly athletic when I was a kid, but the truth is that I was really active- I was up to six days a week of ice skating and dancing by the time I finished middle school, frequently both on one day. I spent many of my summers at the rink doing training camps all day (although there was plenty of time for cards and shenanigans outside of on and off ice training). I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my right tibia just before high school and that's pretty much where all that went downhill- I never returned to dance or skating at quite the same intensity, although I did do it moderately throughout high school, and found my way through to actually enjoying these things, even though I had at times resented them when I was younger. In college I took a couple of recreational dance classes, which provided some activity, and spent a fair amount of time walking around my insanely large campus.
But the city where I moved to go to grad school? You guys, it is unpleasant here to be outside for the majority of four or five months. It is a city of poor public transportation, sprawled out locations, and drivers. It is not a pedestrian friendly city. And while I spend a decent amount of time on my feet during the day, it is typically ergonomically unfriendly movements. At some point after I moved here, I decided that I wanted to be a runner. I am not, and have never been naturally inclined to run. It used to flare up my back problems, although that hasn't seemed to be as much of a problem currently. But I worked on it, and ran three miles on the treadmill once over a year ago. It felt great, except for one thing. I had developed blisters on the bottom of my feet that were 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares. Tape wasn't helping, blister band aids weren't helping, and I pretty much walked everywhere on my tip toes for the next couple weeks while they healed. For a while I did not consistently get out to run, and I'll be honest, it was a pretty overwhelming year between two qualifying exams, finding my place in lab, a serious relationship, and some pretty rough family stuff. A couple months ago I decided that I wanted to make running a priority in my life and started the couch to 5k program. When I was doing intervals, I was okay, but going out and running two miles? In a row? I just couldn't do it. I was tired, sore, and bored by going the same speed on the treadmill. I felt like I was getting better at not gasping for air, but I just couldn't keep going past about a mile and a half.
That is now no longer true. Just in time too! A group of us are doing a green dress run put on by one of the local bars as a fundraiser for what sounds like a pretty great charity. It involves running two miles, drinking, and of course- the green dress is mandatory.