I can't remember all the excuses that have kept me from running much the last couple of weeks. I have run some, but I'm not where I need to be.
First it was raining. And then it was too cold. And for about a week, I did something to injure my back. It was not good. I was uncomfortable. And apparently looked miserable too, because the little sister and I went to dinner one night and she kept saying how awful I looked!
So I had to rest my back a bit and be careful. And while my back was still hurting, I moved. It took a few days to establish a new routine in a new place. And that half marathon in the distance just keeps creeping closer.
I am trying to catch up and stick with my training plan as closely as I can. And it hasn't been going well. The actual running that is. A college hip injury keeps reminding me that it's there. Don't ask what the injury was. Not even the doctors could figure that out. They just called it my "phantom" injury. Nice, right?
But just because they couldn't determine the cause, doesn't mean it wasn't a real injury. It still gives me trouble from time to time. I'm trying my best to show the ghost in my hip the respect it demands while at the same time showing it who's boss.
I try not to run with music all the time. I can become dependent on it to run, and I don't like that. I like using running to process thoughts and even to have uninterrupted prayer time. Crazy right? But I dug out my headphones last night, and found my old marathon playlist. And you know what? It was the best run I've had in a few weeks.
I was surprised that the power songs I'd listened to two years ago still motivate me now. I ended up running half a mile further than I'd intended. It's not much, but it's something. And get this, I realized I was smiling as I ran the trail. Anyone who has seen me run, knows that I am not a happy looking runner.
I wave to be friendly. But I'm probably thinking, "Get that camera out of my face, wise-guy. Can't you see I'm trying to run a race here?" (P.S. Nike, I know you took this picture and I wasn't thinking any of this about you. I am sure I simply couldn't muster a smile.)
It's not that I'm not happy while I run. It's just that I'm usually so focused on breathing and moving forward that smiling isn't even on my radar for what needs to be done. Plus, you know, when I'm not smiling, it doesn't mean I'm angry. It's just my face.
I am making an effort. An effort to catch up on my training plan so I can run a half marathon in less than a month. And to smile in the process.