One trick to getting back into running, after an extended leave, is to be a good cheerleader. Now, I have to admit, I have not been of good cheer much lately. Desperate times, however, call for desperate measures. It is time to get off my butt and outside for some fresh air.
I thought back to one of my running role models. With only a few words, Marion inspired me to run through “the wall” at Napa 2005. If there was anything that Marion was, it was a good cheerleader. She did it for herself, but shared it with everyone around her as well. Today, with the plan of extending my distance and tackling some hills, I decided that I needed a cheerleader.
The day was incredible – clear, bright, but cool. I made my way out of the parking lot, past my point of injury, and towards the famed “dish.” The first climb had me out of breath. I reminded myself that it always does, and agreed that the run was just about me. With the pressure off, I was able to let everyone else run their own pace. Free from competition, I didn’t worry about who I passed (or didn’t) nor who passed me.
I just ran.
In the beginning, I could feel my left ankle twinge as I climbed the first few hills. It resolved, but later on my left knee began twinge as I descended the hills. I reminded my body to “relax,” take it “nice and E-Z,” and not to fight the hills. The pep talk worked for me. If anyone overheard me, they may have benefited too (just as I did in Napa 2005 when Marion ran past). Soon, I was just running, waving to the people that I passed (who were going the opposite direction), and enjoying the lovely views.