I took up running when I was in my mid-40s. As a volunteer college minister at my church at the time, I was around college students daily. Their energy and interest in running helped influence me to get started. A few of us began training together regularly and taking part in various races around Louisville and New Orleans (around Mardi Gras, of course).
Numerous 5k races and a few half-marathons later, I was in a good groove until switching departments, buildings and giving up my fitness club membership after changing buildings since it was no longer convenient. It didn’t take long to get very out of shape and unable to run far at all without huffing and puffing.
The good news, though, is that because of significantly stepping up my efforts the past two weeks, I can feel the difference when running already. It’s nice to be going along and think “I can go faster than this” or “I can go farther before walking today than yesterday.” I have a very long way to go before I can think about competing with my race times and distances from several years ago, but it’s great to know I’m moving in the right direction.
Having dropped five pounds in the past two weeks doesn’t hurt either. Another 5-10 over the next two months and I’ll be back to where I was when I was doing my best running.
None of this improvement is happening without daily effort, sweat, and continuing to put one foot in front of the other when some of my muscles and thoughts oppose continuing. That’s why the new voice in my head encouraging me to do more, go faster, and run farther is a welcome voice, indeed. That’s the voice I need to listen to now that it’s finally back from a multi-year hibernation.
Leap year lesson #166 is It’s nice getting your running legs back.