I know, I know, I said I’d stop writing about running. Oops…

Sorry; I can’t help it. I’ve realized fully that I’m addicted to it, which came about largely because of my week off after the half-marathon.

In the first 48 hours after the half, I was both on an absurdly potent runner’s high and also nauseated at the sight of seeing someone run. No kidding, I went out that night and was waiting for a bus and two people ran past me and I thought I was going to barf into the nearest trash can. My entire being just could not fathom the idea of running again that soon, which I later figured out was my body simply telling me to rest. Having that runner’s high throughout this was quite the jolt of cognitive dissonance; I was so stupidly floaty and agreeable and happy that I genuinely started to worry for my well-being. Dude just cut me off in traffic and made me miss that light which consequently made me miss my bus which made me late for work? Eh, no problem! Colleague for whom I pulled strings and rearranged schedules pitches a fit and backs out of what I’d arranged at the last second, citing it as a ‘waste of time’? Piss off, for all I care! I’m HAPPY! Frightening stuff, indeed. I’m zen sometimes, but not for that long. By Tuesday I was better, and started to get the itch to get back on the pavement, but I knew it was a good idea to ignore that itch. Conveniently, going to Charleston on Thursday morning offered me little to no opportunity to scratch said itch, and it also kept me busy enough that I wasn’t even thinking about how much that itch itched.

Until… that Saturday morning, that marked a full week after the half-marathon. (this is six days ago, in case you’re lost!) I’d had it in the back of my head that I would head out for a little 4-ish-mile run that morning, just to get my legs back under me and make sure all parts were functioning properly. I really wanted to do more like 10-11 miles, but I knew that this would not be wise – slow and steady is the way to work back up, folks! – so I told my potential running partners (saint of a boyfriend’s uncle and aunt) that I wanted to only run for about 45-ish minutes. We laced up on a beautiful, crisp, cloudless South Carolina morning, and off we went.

Well.

After 30 minutes they peeled off to go make breakfast for the rest of the family, and I told them I’d run a bit down the road and then turn around.

30 minutes later, I was back, and – aw, crap, I’d run a 10k. Oops. But it felt so good! And relaxed! And fun! And floaty! And suddenly I remembered everything I like – okay, love – about running in the first place. (Excusing myself to another helping of grits is but one of those things. Ahem.) It was then that I knew exactly how I’m going to be spending the next few months not-training before I start actual-training for the marathon: I can say all I want that I’ll do other stuff like biking and yoga, but damn if the 4-days-a-week of running a) didn’t work really well for me for the half or b) didn’t make me feel freaking awesome. Dammit. I’m… not really stuck in this Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday-Saturday schedule, per se, but it’s what I’m used to, and it felt so, so, SO good to get back on the wagon this past week (even with the weight lifting, which my arms and shoulders are heavily protesting) (and also, I can’t quite get used to lifting weights with manicured nails. It’s just… incongruous!) that I’ve given up trying to fight it. Mondays and Fridays can be biking or yoga days, or not, but I think the other 4 are just going to have to stay running days.

How do I know this is true for sure? I’d planned on a 7-mile run before the conference I’m attending tomorrow starts at 9am, but when one of the other attendees suggested that one of the sessions be held during a 5k run at 10:30am that day (this would take entirely too long to explain, but just trust me that it is an actual thing), my first thought was “oooh, yes!” and my second thought was “well, I can split up my runs and just do 4 miles before I get there at 9am – right?” Insanity. I’m shaking my head at myself. Totally, fully, balls-deep (sorry Mom, ask Gini what it means) addicted.

Another way I know this is true: my university is hosting its conference track and field championships this weekend, but due to my stupidly busy schedule for today and tomorrow, Thursday night (that’s last night) was the only time I could attend any of the events. I get a real kick out of watching people run twice as fast as I do, because I know I’ll never be that fast, and it’s truly awe-inspiring to watch people who can actually do it and do it well. I went over after I was done teaching my evening class, and caught the end of the javelin throw (vaguely terrifying – don’t turn your back on those guys) before the two events I’d actually intended to see: the men’s and women’s 10k. How fast are these kids? They peel off 5-minute miles as if it’s nothing. Me, I can barely pull off two consecutive 8:30-minute miles. And they look so damn effortless doing it. Anyway, it’s a sight to behold, but all I could think of while watching was “I WANT TO GO OUT THERE AND RUN WITH THEM EVEN THOUGH I KNOW IT WOULD KILL ME”. And this was after I’d already refused to run after a bus earlier in the day because I told myself I’d already run my 5k for the day. Seriously, who thinks that? Messed-up-running addicts, that’s who.

My university had a runner finish 2nd in the men’s 10k, and also had the winner of the women’s 10k, which was pretty freakin’ cool.

Also, apropos of nothing (because I swear I wasn’t checking out the men’s legs in those short shorts as they jaunted on by), I may or may not have signed up to volunteer at an all-men’s race in June solely for the fact that it will likely involve a lot of shirtless runners. Um. This is why warm weather is good, right?

ANYWAY… I have non-running stuff to talk about, so that will happen in my next post. But before I do that, SHOUT-OUT to Alyssa over at NJ Runner Girl (http://njrunnergirl.wordpress.com/) who is going to rock her first half-marathon tomorrow! Get it, girl!

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