The Runners’ Club.

Last weekend, I ran slow. Like, painfully slow. Like, can’t put it in writing slow. And it was a pretty big bummer. I started running at the beginning of the summer as a break from spinning and lifting, and as I added mileage, I kinda fell in love with pounding the pavement. It never got easier, but I got better at pushing harder and being positive about the pain.

It all started with an accidental 5-mile run that jumped to 6, 7, 8 before I knew it. Four weeks into the summer, and into this whole new runner vibe, I was up to 9 miles and thinking about signing up for a half marathon. I obsessively looked for one in Philadelphia, then DC, then Baltimore, but kept stopping myself from actually registering.

Gearing up for Peru, I started to get nervous that a week away from my 20 miles a week regimen would ruin me. I told myself I would try to run on the trip, but with the elevation and general exhaustion from all the llama lovin’, I got home 20 miles short of what I was planning on doing abroad. Being the psycho I am, I jumped right back into my weekly routine immediately, giving myself no time to work back up to where it was. And as you’d guess, it didn’t go so hot. I ended up hurting my IT band and putting myself out of commission for a handful of weeks.

Those two weeks took a toll on my confidence. I felt like I’d gotten injured because I wasn’t strong enough, or fast enough, but really, I just wasn’t being smart enough. I debated ditching the effort and dropping back into my normal workout habits. But slowly, and surely, I started making back up to where I was. It’s all a mental game of perseverance and resilience. I’m slower. It’s harder. And I regret not listening to my body when I had the chance. 

This week, I originally planned to be running at least 10 miles at a time, maybe around 25 miles a week. And I can’t. And it’s okay. It’s all progress and the road isn’t always flat and linear. The podcasts will keep playing, the timer will keep ticking, and I’ll keep jogging along until I cross some finish-line, sometime, somewhere. 

Stuck in my head: Haircut // Ryan Beatty
Snap it: Navy Yard, Philadelphia