Running again after 2 years: some brief notes

Almost two years and three kidney surgeries later, I am finally back running! I have done three runs in the past week that have been tough, laboured, unfamiliar, awkward & cut-short. But they have also been totally wonderful and utterly the best.

I have missed running. A LOT. It has been so nice to get back to it even if it feels more difficult and strange than when I last remember doing it. My first run, I got a bit excited and ran far too quickly for a what ended up being quite a short run. I then learned to pace myself a little more and eked out a 5km, before finally managing to reach 5 miles earlier this week:

Never being able to switch off the jographer in me, I’ve been thinking and reflecting on this as a processes of rebecoming a runner. I don’t truly felt I ever stopped being a runner in my absent years – there are lots of social and cultural elements of running I engage and identify with – but the physical and arguably defining feature of being a runner, I have not been doing.

I am suppose I am interested in what this process of coming back to running is like, how it feels, how I experience it and the changing nature of these with time. I’m sure I’ll reflect on this more, but some initial, unstructured, thoughts after my first three runs.

  • My arms and legs seem to remember running well. Their rhythms felt familiar and easy to slip into. In fact, I even seem to have lost my wonky arms that used to move elliptically to counteract the weight of a water bottle I used to carry. Hopefully that is one rhythm they can forget.
  • The rhythms of my breathing were not so harmonious however. Most likely due to the big decrease is my fitness, I have struggled to synchronise my breathing and it is somewhat haphazard, especially when at speed or fatigued.
  • My watch felt strangely heavy. Not something I notice when walking, but when running my watch felt cumbersome and awkward. I don’t remember it feeling like this previously.
  • My enduring rhythms are not so good. My ability to maintain good flow, posture and movement when fatigued has greatly diminished and my rhythms become anything by graceful.
  • Developing a new repertoire of routes has been quite fun. I have never really run much from where we live now, so getting some mapping tools out and committing it to memory has been enjoyable. That’s jographers for you.

I’m sure I will give more thought to this in time, but there seems to be an interesting process here of how my body responds to the intense embodiment of running, and the (re)forming of habits and skills that are needed in order to cope with this intensity favourably and to re(inscribe) running back into my body and its movements. It’s a process I look forward to experiencing and reflecting on further.


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