Sunday, January 17, 2010

Run, Forrest, Run!

I laid in the new toddler bed at some point during Wednesday night, intending to climb out & return to my own bed.  And I couldn't sit up.  My muscles were in spasms of uselessness, having been subjected to unaccustomed workouts at Silly O'Clock on Monday morning and Wednesday morning. 

Now, I'm typically hopeless with New Year's resolutions.  (Unless, perhaps, if you count the year I resolved to start wearing more feminine socks.  That didn't last either, really.)  The resolutions for improved financial fitness in 2009 failed dramatically.  (But don't you like my new bag?  Isn't it pretty?)

But at some point in the heady, early moments of 2010,  I said to my husband "I want to be a runner.  This year, I want to be a runner again." 

Long ago, so many years ago, I ran.  I ran Track and Cross Country all through high school, for a coach whose first priority was always to show us just how much fun running was. He pushed us hard, he yelled until the veins popped out on his forehead, but if we didn't win the meet, if we didn't make our best times?  Not the end of the world.  He only wanted to know that we'd done our best.  I wasn't a great competitor and I won very few races, but oh the happy memories of running with the team on autumn-colored trails through Rock Creek Park in Washington DC. I even look back fondly on rain-soaked Sunday morning runs with Coach Paulson, my dad, my brother, and our oversized dog.

This is me c1991- the Amazon in the Winnie the Pooh shirt.  Unfortunately, the shirt is probably an indication of just how seriously I was taking the race. I was racing with BFFs Clare & Andrea.

Running kept me going through college as well.  What began as a regime to get rid of extra pounds due to dorm life became nothing less than a daily meditation, a respite from the close-quarters of small college living and an intense academic schedule.  As I hit the streets in the very early morning or the late evenings, and pounded my way through misty English villages, I'd always meant to tell Coach Paulson just how much he'd permanently changed my outlook on exercise.

Then, boring cliche by boring cliche, running slipped out of my life.  Newlywed life proved so cozy - all that cooking/eating/kissing, then our careers started to intensify, and then death knell of all death knells to exercise:  we started having kids.

SEVEN LONG YEARS LATER, there are no more kids in the pipeline. (Ooh, that reminds me, must send Torbjorn's surgeon a Valentine...)  There are no more excuses. There is some level of sanity at stake, and I think running (plus blogging, of course) will be the best way to keep us moving in the right direction.

I love running.  I love lacing up my shoes, I love getting out on the streets, and I love the sweaty feeling of cooling down from a great workout.  When I see posters of runners, when I flip through catalogs of sports gear, when I watch my neighbor sprint down the hill past my house, my feet still itch.

I went out on Friday, ditched the grocery store run and spent a happy hour in the running store buying a brand spankin' new pair of running shoes.  This year, it's my turn. It's my turn to KEEP getting up at Silly O'Clock, to put in the miles and finally get back to my Happy Place. 

Howzabout a little virtual cheerleading along the way? (Coach Paulson is way out West, you see.)


Moxie said...

Run Kirsten run! Go go go!

Erin said...

Oh, good for you! The last time I ran was when I was five months pregnant, so almost a year ago...I miss it!

Dave Cooper said...

And you were running...

Elaine A. said...

Those are some sweet shoes! I love the pink. Good for you for getting back into it. I started running at the end of 2008 (before getting preggo in early 2009) and now I'm trying to ease back into it. I do love the ole "runners high" that hits after! : )

katdish said...

Good for you! Not a fan of running, but I admire folks who can do it. My motto? No pain - no pain.

But resolved to wear more feminine socks? What's that about?

You're funny.

Lori-Anne said...

I tried running for a couple of years (finishing, like you, around the time I said "I do"). Turning myself into a runner was about as successful as turning myself into a morning person: not at all. Contrary to the claim that the energy levels WILL be heightened, I was ready for a nap by 9:30 a.m. every day I put on those infernal $130 running shoes! Never again. I think something a little less high energy - like pilates, if I could find a class scheduled for a time I can actually go - might be more up my alley. But good on you for finding your bliss and getting out there.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing! I am SOOOOOOOOO proud of you, and I'll say that running (or treadmill) is the ONLY exercise I've ever "stuck with". Going anywhere to do a class etc. wasn't my thing, though I tried. I also, now, appreciate my Pilates video 2X a week b/c the running has found some thing in this body that were latent for years! You are bedazzling me, dear one!

Anonymous said...

I admire your running, Kirsten. You are doing your heart and bones a huge favor. I am sure you know about Thorlo running socks. Don't know if they come in pink to satisfy the feminine thing.

kirsten said...

re: feminine socks. When your feet are man-sized, it becomes a point of pride to make sure things stay 'pretty' instead of utilitarian. Sadly, the pretty sock phase didn't last. They all shrank.

Wendy said...

As a committed non-runner I'm always impressed with anyone who can take that on - you go girl!

hezro said...

Awesome! I'm determined to get fit as well. Today is Day 43 of my efforts. :) And I totally hear you about wanting to hit the open road...err...sidewalk with your running shoes. So far I've only hit the elliptical trainer in the basement but I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to lace up the runners and head outside. :)

Coach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coach said...


I may be 3,000 miles away but I am with you in spirit and running with you in the virtual environment. (By the way, I teach a Jogging class online.)

Your facebook status update and blog have inspired me to do something I had previously decided not to do. I will post logs of my runs as status updates on facebook. (I use twitter as a logbook in a few of my classes and will let twitter export the tweets as facebook status updates.)

I hear your brother is in the bay area, is he still running and do you think we could get him to join us for some virtual running. I would love to see if we can get a few of your TA teammates to join and will forward your blog address to them if you don't mind?

Remember to start slow--aerobic running. (220-age=max heart rate. Run at 60-80% of max heart rate and you will enjoy the run.) Just wanted to see if you remembered that little formula.

You may want to check out my twitter and get an account of your own, I would love to hear about your runs on a regular basis.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Bob Paulson

binduoommen said...

Wow. I've always wanted to run, and never had the courage to start.

Maybe today :)

Thanks for a most beautiful post.

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