Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Return of Running

Before grad school started up, I was on a running regime of almost 20 miles a week - typically two shorter runs during the week and a long one on Sunday mornings. I peaked on a ten mile run in the blazing heat and decided that really a half-marathon would be my breaking point. I had planned on keeping up my running when grad school started with the idea that simply grabbing my shorts and sneakers would be a quick and easy break from the grad school grind. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the case when I discovered that 8 credits a quarter (if broken up into 4 courses) made me insane and overloaded. After surviving Fall Quarter, I had plans to run again, but the Snowpocalypse of 2008 hit and kept us buried until well after the start of Winter Quarter. And I didn't run during winter quarter because I'm lazy. I get home from work and spend an hour making dinner, paying bills, cleaning up the place, or sitting on my butt not doing anything after working all day. Then I plunge into homework until 10 at night.

This is not to say that I've been a complete schlub the entire time. Yes, fencing had to give since AK coaches almost every night of the week and making it to an OFA practice is nearly impossible for my schedule. Almost every day I take a long walk, at least half an hour. I'm a twitchy type of person and I have to move. This is especially true when too many large projects are looming or the message boards look intimidating. I must move.

But I've been feeling the need for something more, for a proper sweat. I miss the pleasant exhaustion that follows a good workout. I miss feeling lean. So when a book on beginning running appeared on the new book shelf at work, I checked it out. There's a 14-week program in the back for people who are no longer beginners (you could run a 5k) but who aren't exactly out there on a half-marathon track. This morning I began session one of week one with a quick cycle of speedwork. It hurt only slightly (mostly my lungs). I absorbed so much wonderful sunlight and now I'm here on my bed, still in the sunlight, and ready for a day of laundry and literature reviews. Though listening to the birds and the stream outside my window, I'm a bit loathe to add to the background the thumping of the washer. An excuse? Perhaps, but at least I moved my butt today.

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