Thursday, December 3, 2015
Back in October, my group at work toured Fenway Park and then socialized at a nearby bar, which also happened to be connected to a batting cage used by visiting teams. When not in use, the batting cage can be rented out, as it was for our group. So, yeah, apparently drinking and hitting baseballs thrown by a machine go well together. I guess that's why we had to sign those pesky waivers. I wanted to get in the cage and try it out, but it had been 30+ years since I had played softball/baseball and I was imagining the harm I could inflict upon myself. Especially as it was all outlined in that waiver. But I did it. It was so much fun that I went in twice. So when I sent Rich a text telling him that I did it, his first question was, "Did you wear a helmet?" and then later he asked me if I had actually hit any of the balls. Please. Have some faith in me. (So, granted, I'm sure they had that machine on the slowest setting possible but yes, I hit a good amount of what was pitched to me.)
The night before this particular outing, Rich suggested that I add strength training to my extremely minimal workout routine, which, at that point, consisted of three runs a week. I scoffed. Strength training? Sure, I'll add that to my to-do list. 24 hours after my batting cage time, I was feeling my lack of strength big time. From my hands to my arms to my sides. I'm out of shape. Here's the thing: I work full time, I have a time consuming commute, I have three young kids, and I like sleep. Some may call these excuses. I, myself, have called them excuses. But I'm realizing that you need to have a certain level of acceptance of who you are and what you can think of as realistic achievements.
I picked up running again in August after an extremely long hiatus. August through October, I consistently ran three times a week and running slowly became easier. I gently bumped up my mileage and speed on the treadmill (I usually run inside when it's below 70 degrees or after the sun goes down) and while I felt slightly stronger, I didn't feel like there were any noticeable physical changes going on. In other words, my skinny pants were still waaaaay too tight. I ended up taking two weeks off from running at the end of October, for various reasons. Cleaning out the rental property, I didn't feel well, someone didn't feel well. My first run after two weeks was one mile to ensure that I wouldn't injure myself and then I decided that Camp Sally was over. I'd been so afraid of injury that I wasn't increasing my mileage by very much and while I know that you aren't supposed to increase it too much week to week, I believe my starting point was too low. So I increased my mileage and the treadmill speed. I also added strength training (I know, I know) and ab work.
The weekend before Thanksgiving I ran 3 miles, followed by 2.5 miles on Wednesday. I was feeling strong. And then I fell ill. A week later and I still have this obnoxious cough and while a younger me would have attempted running regardless, I know that to do so now would only drag this cold out. And so I rest. I accept that sometimes I just need to rest.
Oddly enough, while I accept that my mid-section is permanently scarred and I'll never have a belly button without surgery, I still have this crazy notion that I'll be able to make it look better if I could only get back to running 20+ miles a week. It's been 8 and a half years. When am I going to let it go?