Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

2 Jun

So much for that vow to write more in 2014 I made back in January. Almost exactly 5 months later and you haven’t heard hide nor hair of me. Well, at least I was right about one thing, 2014 has had a fair bit of awesomeness.

Since you last heard from me I:

1. Passed the Association of Social Work Boards Licensed Social Work (LSW) test.
2. Went to London and Manchester (seeing not only the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio tour, but also Chelsea F.C. play Tottenham Hot Spur at Stamford Bridge)
3. Ran the Philadelphia Love Run (in the pouring rain).
4. Ran the Nike Women’s Half in DC with my bestie.
5. Injured my IT band during the Nike half.
6. Started physical therapy.
7. Graduated with my Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
8. Celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary and the 5th anniversary of buying our house (they’re on the same day).
9. Got a new job.
10. Went to Antigua.

Finishing up my MSW took a lot more time and energy than I was expecting, or, perhaps more than I had wanted to expect. The lack of time and energy, coupled with the terrible winter we had in Philadelphia meant that I really didn’t run much in 2014. Which meant I really couldn’t write much about running. And also meant that I was most likely undertrained when I went out on race day in DC. Which leads me to where I am now, rebuilding after an injury.

Yesterday I went out for my second post-injury run. I walked half a mile, then did intervals of 5 minutes of running/1 minute of walking for 3 miles, and walked half a mile to cool down. It was hot out, and I could feel the loss of cardiovascular base as I panted along. There were a few 5/1 cycles that were probably actually 4/2 or 3/3 as I slowed to catch my breath, but I made it and I wasn’t in pain. More importantly, I loved it. And, I felt so much better after.

Not running (either at all or enough) over the past few months has left me feeling sluggish, both physically and mentally. I spent a lot of time yesterday feeling punchy and anxious, my thoughts were unclear and jumbled, but as I rounded out the last mile I felt calmer and more collected. I’d had time in those 50 minutes I was out plodding along to rearrange my thoughts. To take deep breaths. To get my brain chemicals flowing again.

I also felt better physically. Not running has left me feeling stiff, lethargic, and kind of pudgy. I’ve not put on a noticeable (to other people) amount of weight… but you can’t stop running and keep eating like you run five times a week, and not expect your shorts to be tight. Even after one run yesterday I felt a difference. I mean, my shorts are still tight… but I feel looser, less achy.

As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It seems that these few months “off” has made me realize that much more that I love running. Hopefully, absence has also made your heart grow fonder; I hope you’re excited that MainlyRunning is back!

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One Response to “Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”

  1. Donna Russell June 2, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    You are so awesome Jess! I am so proud of the woman you have become!!!!

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