I recently moved! Yay! And it has gone great (if you ignore all the problems along the way!)…until I realized I lost my running routes. This may not seem like a big deal at all, but I had the perfect neighborhood running paths set up. Miles of dead-end neighborhoods linked together seamlessly, filled with friendly neighbors playing outside with the kids, old men sitting on the porches, and dogs barking with wagging tails. I had spent a fair amount of time picking the perfect streets on google pedometer and mapping out the best short 4 mile route and longer 6 and 8 mile routes as well, but now I am in a whole new place and need to start over and find the best new course.
Just like running, my personal life has had some steep challenges to overcome this past year. I started treatment for cancer one year ago. The cancer has been eradicated, but the treatment has left me feeling like I have an entirely new body. I don’t recognize how it looks, how it moves, or really how my brain thinks. I’m starting from scratch. I couldn’t wait to start running again after finishing treatment this spring. I used to run a mile in the mid-7 minute range and easily be able to push out a 5 or 6 mile run. So naturally, a first step to feeling normal again was to find a good running route, one that would make me hop out of bed in the morning excited to log those miles. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a route that works. I have a shorter 3 mile route that I’ve been running to get these legs back into it again, but it doesn’t feel right. My neighborhood is situated between two main roads so there aren’t a lot of road options to create a well-balanced route. Currently what I’ve come up with has a lot of loops and crossovers, and re-running of streets and it just doesn’t work for me. I feel like I’m running in circles, and getting nowhere (sound familiar?). I’m also no longer able to keep pace with my old self. I’m lucky if I can run more than 3 miles and complete it with an under 10 minute mile pace. So I did what any girl would do, I bought new shoes! I thought maybe new sneakers would help, but again they just don’t feel right. They are the same brand and size I’ve worn for the past 15+ years, but now they are just a little off. It’s just not working.
But the counter weight is that I now have a running partner who makes the miles go by easier. I convinced my boyfriend to be my running buddy, and a couple early mornings a week we lace up and hit the pavement together. It’s still not a pretty run on my part, and there is a lot of huffing and puffing along the way, but I have a great partner to sweat it out with. To me that is the best positive and makes both life and running feel good.
This morning we decided to change it up. I put back on my old sneakers and tested out a new route, a 4 mile route with a HUGE monster hill halfway through (the parallels to life in running are incredible!). It was tough, but we powered through and felt great to reached the top. It’s still not the perfect route, and I’m still not the perfect runner, but knowing that I can adapt, be flexible, learn, adjust, and persevere is keeping me moving forward.
So I’m new to the neighborhood, new to blogging, and new to this changed body. I’m sure I’ll map out my path and find my way eventually, but for now I’m going to just enjoy being the new kid in the neighborhood.
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