Running = Happy

I have a (not at all) shocking confession to make. I love trail running. LOVE it. I have not run on trails since September 11. I fell on the trails that day, for the 2nd time EVER (and the second time in a month). I was pretty sure that the falling down bits were bad. After all, I was (am) pregnant, and I think that you’re not supposed to fall. On my first fall, which came about 3/4 of the way through a nearly 16 mile run, I felt flat on my face. I was so very newly pregnant, that I knew Alvie was protected by my pelvic bones and was not likely to come to harm. The second fall, I was nearly 10 weeks along, and managed to twist to one side to avoid the faceplant and possible damage to Alvie.

Now that I’m 19 weeks (tomorrow!) along, Alvie is definitely starting to poke out more and it’s not a good idea to faceplant (so I understand). So, it was with a heavy heart after my second fall that I declared no more trail running until I’m no longer with child.

And I’ve barely run since. Three runs between 9/11 & today, in fact.

This morning I decided that not only was I going to run today, I was going to Forest Park. However, I was going to play it safe and run on (the relatively flat and not really technical) Leif Erickson. I drove up Germantown Road to the Leif trail head. The parking lot was packed! So, I just kept driving, and some how ended up at the Wildwood trailhead.

I promised myself that I would take it easy, pay very close attention to the trail, and walk as much as necessary.

My plan was to go for 30  minutes, then turn around. And I followed my plan. (I actually made it back to the parking lot in 59:19, which means I had a 41 second negative split! Woo!)

The good: I feel amazing. Better than I’ve felt in ages. Plus – this 60 minute run (with approximately 7.5 minutes of walking interspersed) was waaay easier than my last 27 minute run.

The bad: Last time I ran this exact same route with the exact same plan, I ran exactly 1 mile further in the exact same time. (Today = 15 minute miles – that is barely even running!)

The ugly: I did fall down again. HOWEVER – it wasn’t while running, so I’m pretty sure that’s okay and doesn’t count. On my last walk break, I was no longer watching the trail and my feet carefully – after all, I was just walking now – and slipped in a mud puddle. It was the slowest and most controlled fall ever – I just slipped in slow motion. The entire left side of my body was coated in mud, but I think it just made me look hard core. I don’t feel that the fall was a result of bad judgment or anything – although I probably should be more careful on the walking parts as well as the running parts.

ANYWAYS – I feel great, even when I consider the slip & slide. This is honestly the most awesome I’ve felt in ages, and pretty much just proves that I need to run NOT on hard surfaces (sidewalk runs KILL me) and preferably in pretty locations at least once a week. I probably will try to stick to Leif and other similar trails and avoid the more technical trails, but I have no regrets.

Gratitude Journal

November 6, 2011: I am grateful for running – and grateful that I am still able to run. I am also grateful for my proximity to the most awesome running park in the history of the world: Forest Park.

November 5, 2011: I am grateful that I was able to discover enough courage to join Toastmasters. I know this sounds super cheesy, but it’s really made a HUGE difference in my life. I am a MUCH better person for the last couple of years as a Brave Little Toaster. AND I will achieve Competent Leader status by the end of November, and Competent Communicator status by the end of 2011! Also, there are days when I think I might need to find a job that involves more public speaking. Who am I?

November 4, 2011: I am grateful for the internet, which gives me the ability to work from home, in my pajamas, this morning.

November 3, 2011: I am grateful that I have a good job that is challenging & interesting, if not necessarily catering to my life interests. I have the opportunity for professional development (weekly leadership seminar today!), have a decent salary, good health insurance, and a bunch of people who are excited for my pregnancy and not at all worried about my maternity leave (in fact, they’ve told me to not even THINK about being available in May – i.e. budget season – and that they’d get through it without me, as long as I do all the prep work before I leave…)

November 2, 2011: I am grateful for the architect, who is simply wonderful. He picks up the household slack when I’m busy with schoolwork, brings me chicken fingers on his way home from work, and is simply the most wonderful husband I could ask for…

November 1, 2011:  I am grateful for my (so far, knock on wood) easy and wonderful pregnancy

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