And so a week went by, then two weeks, and so on... And every now and again I'd drag my sorry butt out the door for a short unsatisfying run.
Not that I have anything to prove to anyone by posting up consistent mileage. It's all me. I run only for myself, and general sanity. But I did notice my waistline - that little bicycle inner tube that was forming. And the little plumpness in my gut.
I made a vow to myself seven or eight years ago that I would never, ever, let my girth precede me through a door, i.e. I did not want to grow the dreaded middle aged gut. And so far, so good. But stop running for a couple of weeks and seeds seem to sprout...
It's not like I'm sitting on my butt all day instead of running, but it seems that the act of consistently running has helped my body keep itself together. Or maybe it's just age... After all, I am a decade past the magic 50.
It's also interesting that in the first week or so of not running, my legs just did not feel right. Like they were antsy and restless. I kept up my stretching routine, but I'm guessing that my legs missed the runs.
I did feel a little guilty while being lazy and not running... like something was admonishing me that had not run that day. I tried not to feel guilty; I still felt like a runner; I still felt that I had earned those stripes; I just wasn't running that particular day (or the one before, and the one before that, etc...). It was odd. When I'd see other runners I'd watch them almost longingly, wishing myself out there, to get back into my routine.
But it's so easy not to; so easy to skip a day. There were appointments, meetings, different crises to tend to. Or it was too windy, too cold, too hot, too late, or too much or too little of something. There were a thousand reasons to put off the run, some of them even valid... But none of them good enough actually.
Then my father-in-law wound up in the hospital with congestive heart failure and while sitting with him I obviously heard a great deal regarding the causes and prevention of heart disease. Aerobic and anaerobic exercise are paramount. If you are not moving, you are dying. The various doctors and nurses would compliment me on my apparent "good shape" and congratulated me on my exercise routines. "Keep it up" they'd say... Little did they know that I had become "lazy" about all that... and I didn't share that little fact because suddenly I did feel very guilty.
I had to start my running routine again - no excuses. If I'm not moving, I'm dying.
So I'm working on getting back into it -
But it has been difficult to get back into the longer runs. Not running for a few weeks seems to have sapped my endurance levels. My legs feel ok, but I seem to have no juice. So I run until I feel fatigued, then walk for a bit, wait until my heart or lungs or whatever catch up, and then run some more. I pick out-and-back routes so that I'd have no choice but to make it back. Naturally I'll challenge myself to go another 1/2 mile or more each time... And my level of impatience is such that I'd run versus walk so that I could get home, shower, and get on with my next task.
I need to get over this laziness and procrastination. If I'm not moving, I'm dying. And I don't want to die sitting in a chair or on a couch.