When Another Mother Runner brought me back to the heady days of 2008 Facebook and those “25 (or 99, or 1250) things you don’t know about me (and which are not even 50% as interesting as I think)!” the nostalgia got to be too much, and I had to succumb to their “10 running related personal questions” post.
Well, that, and also I can’t think of anything more interesting to say right now: I run a lot. Almost every day. Very very slowly, most days, with Cheeks in the Baby Jogger. My legs like it, but – unlike this list of things you previously did not know about me and yet were somehow able to live your life – it doesn’t make for scintillating blog content.
1. Best run ever: Ever? Like, EVER ever? Superlatives come with so much commitment. I remember a few runs that stood out as the best during that particular period of my life, but have never given much thought to why, and I’m not sure I would call them the best in relation to now because everything else around them was so…not the best. College wasn’t my favorite life phase (an understatement – unamerican, I know) but I remember a few early-morning Sunday easy runs with the cross-country team, and alone, on trails in the mountains: that famous tourist-fodder foliage, the quiet, the chill in the air, not having any training goal other than just recovering from a hard week and knowing you had the rest of the day to hang out and do nothing. For once I didn’t beat myself up for being too slow, too fat, too not-good-enough, I just enjoyed it.Those were great. I remember my fastest half-marathon, also on a cold fall morning, six months after I started running seriously again, how easy it felt to pass people and just let my legs do their job unhindered by negative self-talk, feeling good about myself and something I’d accomplished at a time when everything else was crumbling around me. Again, a great run and a great feeling, but against a dreary backdrop. More recently, running has been less an escape or a relief than just part of who I am, and my best recent run was probably the muddy, hilly 12km x-c race I ran 2 weeks ago. It wasn’t fast, but mentally it was awesome: no beating myself up for being slower than the last time I ran the course, just focusing on keeping an even effort on the uphills and working with the downhills, feeling light, SMILING (!!) and looking forward to seeing my supportively gorgeous/gorgeously supportive husband and adorable son at the finish line. Also autumnal, and yet somehow REALLY the best this time…
2. Three words that describe my running: Life-affirming (that’s 2, right?), essential.
3. My go-to running outfit is: If we had Lucy in Germany, I’m pretty sure the answer to this would be different, but as it is, I love these 4-year-old Adidas Supernova capris which are slowly disintegrating in key coverage areas like the crotch, but which I cannot replace because the newer Supernova capris fit differently, i.e. not at all – and whichever t-shirt doesn’t stink too badly at the moment.
4. Quirky habit while running: Does conversing with an 11-month-old count? Otherwise I am disappointingly unquirky these days. Oh, unless you count imagining myself in the 2016 Olympics. What? I won’t even be 40 yet!
5. Morning, midday, evening: When I was employed I always ran after work. Now that I am a useless waste of space, I prefer morning. Not too early. Post-coffee. Lately it’s been late afternoon due to baby scheduling issues and my stride is measurably less springy.
6. I won’t run outside when it’s: Icy. See also: Injury, fear of.
7. Worst injury—and how I got over it: Achilles tendonitis in 2009. I am probably lucky that this was my worst injury to date (.hey body, can we please keep it that way?): I stopped running for a month, iced the tendon, massaged and stretched my calves, made sure I had the right shoes, and it went away.
8. I felt most like a badass mother runner when: Hmmm, my running experiences as a mother are limited to the last 9 months, but I think it’s a 3-way tie among the 3 races I’ve run in the last month: waving at my husband and my adorable little son at the start and sometimes even during the race, hugging them at the finish line…and remembering how far my body has come since I started “running” again this past January, one wobbly slow minute at a time.
9. Next race is: A 10k on October 14th.
10. Potential running goal for 2013:
cheezburger.com, obvs. Just to end on the 2008 theme again.