I started running right after I decided I wanted out of my marriage. It’s not easy to work out the logistics of separating from someone you’ve been with your entire adult life, a task made all the more complex by living far away from friends and family, and so at night, after I made the decision to split but wasn’t quite sure how I could make it work, I would head to a nearby gym and lose myself either in power yoga or on the treadmill.
It wasn’t a coincidence that I waited until he came home each night before I’d head out the door — it wasn’t just that the Diva needed looking after (the gym, did, after all, have childcare). I needed to escape from him and running was the only running away I could do at first. Needless to say, running saved my sanity in what was probably the most difficult time in my life. What I didn’t realize was how badly I’d need to keep at it to keep sane in the truly awful times that followed.
And so, even though I was slower than a tortoise, I made a pact with myself to keep running, sticking to it until I could run at least 30 minutes without stopping. It was a minor goal, one that I devised for myself after learning that my ex-husband had been shtooping an overweight friend of mine, the same friend who had told me she ran 30 minutes three times a week with no problem. Call me a weight-ist if you like, but the fact that this friend of mine did not look nearly as good as me naked but my ex didn’t seem to mind that was what set my feet on fire. I am competitive. If that bitch could run 30 minutes at a time, no problem-o, than so, too, could I. Even if I was certain I never wanted my ex back. It was the principle, I guess.
When that goal was achieved, I paused to reflect on my running and realized that really, if I wanted to keep running, I’d need to do it for myself. And to do that, I needed to start setting goals. No Apathy Allowed mentioned once that running is great for her goal-setting personality, that she could see her progress in numbers, and though I thought at first that was a total turn-off (I am usually a lost soul with no goals except to enjoy life), that philosophy was exactly what I needed. So I set the goal of running a 5k sometime this year.
In February, when I got the okay to work mainly from home, I set up a 3 day a week running schedule and soon 5k was my daily run. So I upped it to a 10k and added it to my things to do while 35 list. Well, that 10k was Sunday and I’m proud to say I persevered. I was one of the last across the finish line, but that’s beside the point. I had the flu for a week straight, was hungover from my birthday celebration, a tiny bit heartbroken, and there was a snow (!) pack that had turned to ice on the route. It never snows in Germany in December, but suddenly, the whole week before, it snowed. I didn’t let that stop me, and I won’t use it an excuse. The victory was that I used the year to create a habit and now that habit is so ingrained, I can’t quit it. Now that I know I can do it, the next step is a goal-based race. Looking forward to setting those goals. And meeting them.