We've been so busy trying to soak up every minute of summer that blogging has obviously taken a back seat. Obviously that means I haven't mentioned anything about returning to running post baby 9, which is a shame, because it's been awesome! My first run was three weeks after baby (per the promise I made to Aaron!), and was an ambitious 4 miles. Tiring but fabulous. I bumped my longer runs back into double digit territory three weeks ago (8 weeks post baby), and it felt amazing. I did my first post baby race last week, but I need to get pics from my dad (my parents were there! yay!), so I'm waiting on sharing that one.
This morning though...well, it's time to talk running!
You've seen pictures, I live in the middle of nowhere. I like it that way. No, I love it that way. One of the things I love the most is that there are plenty of miles to be run out here. I can step out my front door and log my long runs without having to drive somewhere else first or wind through busy streets.
Last summer when I was marathon training I noticed something on Friday afternoons or evenings, and on Saturday mornings. I swear it never happened any other time. We have an awesome assortment of wildlife out here, it's not unusual to see antelope out in the fields, deer on the hills, coyotes, foxes, rabbits and all sorts of other little creatures milling about. We also get to see a number of hawks on a regular basis. Well last year I noticed that as I was coming home from wherever I might be on Fridays that there were always hawks perched atop the same two or three telephone poles. Rarely did I see them any other days-running or driving, but always on Fridays. And then again as I ran on Saturday mornings they were there. There were only two weeks when I didn't see them at their post. How do I know there were only two weeks? Because those were the two weeks I had awful long runs.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure.
But it stuck with me. Suddenly I found myself looking for those hawks on those same poles any time I was headed home on Fridays and again when I was out on Saturdays, just kind of tucking away in the back of my head that yep-they were there, I was destined to have a good long run.
This morning as I set out after sleeping through my alaram (whoops), and not feeling 100% (too much pizza last night?), and having tired legs, I was kind of in my own little world trying to remind myself that right around mile two always sucks for me no matter how far I have on the plan, and hoping that after that I'd feel better. As I shook myself out of my mini-funk and my legs woke up, I looked up ahead to soak in the sun peeking over the mountains and lighting up my valley.
Silly? Sure. I think a lot of things that runners do out of habit or superstition probably are. But hey, if it works, go with it! If tying your shoes a specific way or starting every race with the same song works for you, then work it!
The rest of the twelve mile run I did this morning was awesome. It wasn't all 100% smile on the face perfect, but man it feels good to be running long enough again to go through the ups and downs. To feel my body start to get tired and dig a little deeper. To feel my legs start to get heavy and push them a little faster. To slip into that zone where there is no conscious thought or effort, you just....run.
I finished the run well, feeling worked but not completely spent. My legs were tired, but not dead. Exactly how I want to feel after a long run.
I am so grateful that my body is healthy and strong, so grateful that I get to run. And I'm pretty happy that logging 12 miles today means that I can go indulge guilt-free in some sinfully delicious treat.