Don’t worry, I’m not turning in my running shoes or swearing off races forever. The insane, psychotic part of me would still like to register for a half marathon in the late fall. Dave has held me off with “let’s just wait and see how you’re feeling.” Probably smart, especially now that I’m not even running. Still, one can hope.
In any case, there are a few things I don’t miss about running:
- Chafing. I used to have an angry scab on my chest from where my sports bra rubbed me raw. That sucker has been permanent fixture on my chest for the last 2 years. I wish I was kidding. It’s now just a faded red mark. It’s also nice to get in the shower and not have that straight shot of fiery pain as water hits every chafe spot.
- Waking up at 4am to run. Because I’m a totally pansy about heat and humidity, I used to get up around 4am, drink my coffee and eat a granola bar, then set out to run. Basically I wanted to finish my run (or at least most of it) before the sun came up and things got roasting hot. For normal everyday runs this was getting up about 4:30 or 5am. For longer runs it was 4am. I like sleeping.
- Spending money. Let’s face it, races and shoes aren’t cheap. With less miles, my shoes are lasting waaaaay longer (I used to go through shoes about every 3 months). No races means no registration fee and no traveling expenses. It also means no free shirt, but I probably have enough of those right now. (Lie. I am a race shirt hoarder. There will never be enough.)
- Scheduling and routing. I normally did my long runs on weekends, but if we were traveling a weekend I had to figure out how I was going to get my long run in. Was I going to get up crazy early on a workday so I could be finished before work started? Was I going to flip-flop weekends to do a shorter run this weekend and a longer run next? Bottom line: I don’t worry anymore. I walk everyday but it’s only about an hour, so it’s pretty easy to squeeze in. Along with that was figuring out my route and memorizing it. Staying in this area for XX miles and XX amount of time because it’s well lit and safe and it’ll be dark at that time. Avoiding these trails because of the horrible horse flies. Trying to find 20+ miles around your house can be challenging.
- Emotions. After my longest runs (generally 18 miles or more) I would be highly emotional. I would feel fine, but then Dave would ask me a simple question and I’d start crying for no reason, or I’d get angry. I think it was a combination of the physical tiredness and the mental exhaustion after running for 3 or 4 hours. I don’t think either of us really miss that… although maybe pregnancy hormones aren’t a total trade-up on this one…
- Eating what I want. Surprised that I don’t miss this? It’s good for me to be conscious of what I’m eating and how it’s making me feel. At the height of my marathon training last fall – 3 marathons in 3 states in 3 months – I was running so much I pretty much ate what I wanted. I gained some weight. I stopped really paying attention to how I felt and what my body was wanting to eat. I just ate. Not running has pushed me back into more listening, eating when I’m hungry, eating what I’m hungry for.
Of course, I do miss running. I miss the feeling of accomplishment when I finish. I miss getting really drippy sweaty. I miss gearing up for races. I miss heavy mileage. I miss leg fatigue and whole body tiredness. I miss the struggle of it, the push, the mental games, and finishing what I started, even when it hurts and I’m tired. But that will all be waiting for me post-baby. For now, I can enjoy the change of pace and embrace walking!
What don’t you miss? Pick your topic!