For me, running season is the fall, starting in September or maybe even October, when the summer heat finally starts to die, the night starts bleeding into the afternoon, and the air takes on an edge. When dead leaves crunch beneath my running shoes, there is my bliss.
Unfortunately, this year, I will be greeting my running season recovering from childbirth–how much so yet to be determined. Instead of enjoying an avalanche of progress after a brutal summer, I will be starting completely over.
It is hard to believe it has been nearly three months since I was cut off from running by my doctor. Yes, I missed the oppressive heat and misery of summer running (and more importantly, followed the doctor’s advice for my baby), but what have I lost in training? I was running 13 miles; will I even be able to return to 3?
I know I can work my way back up, and I accept that it is all undoubtedly worth it. The thought of starting over is just daunting, especially now with two kids and two jobs (both double what I had previously). My daughter was not a newborn when I started running, so I’m not sure how this going to play out.
Yet I crave it.
My brain chemistry is completely fucked, more and more by the endorphinless day. Exercise deficit paired with pregnancy insanity has destroyed the balance I had created by this nonmedical management of my life. I feel lost without it, especially in the upheaval of so much life change and stress.
I simply feel overwhelmed. And apprehensive. I am intimidated by the changes I am facing and reeling for my outlet in the meantime. I just need to focus on what is important and get back to running myself sane after everything has settled again.
For a while, returning to running seemed so distant that I had almost forgotten about it. Now, at the climax of all the stress and close enough to see the other side, it has reemerged in my mind, digging in the back like a thorn.
One day… one day soon…