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Running Rerun

I've been here before.

I signed up for a 10K race in May so I'm in running mode right now. It's a bad time of year to be training outside; if I don't finish my run by 8 o'clock in the morning it's too hot and sunny. Clouds have moved in over the last few afternoons, with thunderstorms far off in some other parts of the city; I'm considering trips to the park during that cloudy time even though my driver advises against it. (It's just a little wind and distant thunder in our neighborhood; it hasn't even rained.) Every once in a while I can use the treadmill at Mike's office, but it's a long drive. I spend more time on the road going back and forth than I do on the treadmill.

I read all the books, articles, and blog posts about moms who run, searching for motivation and for the key to success. A friend and I have surmised that the key is to wake up at a ridiculously early hour to get your run in. (And then hope that caffeine and a quick cat nap if the baby takes a nap will pull you through the rest of the day.) After learning that secret, I still spend more time reading about running in the comfort of my air-conditioned home after Muffin goes to sleep at night than I do waking up at 5:30 in the morning and hitting the pavement. I'm waking up at 5:30 but heading straight to Muffin's room and then the coffee pot, since she's been waking up at that early hour recently. I know I should be putting her in the  jogging stroller and taking her with me or not feeling so guilty about leaving her at home with Mike. If I don't get out the door within nanoseconds of waking up, though, my motivation drains away. (I sleep in my running clothes to make it out the door as quickly as possible.) Every second counts in the morning.

To wear shorts or not to wear shorts remains the question of the day, every day. Among my friends, reports of harassment, regardless of what they are wearing, seem to have increased the last few months. I still feel safe going out for a run in our neighborhood and Mike feels it's safe, too. As much as I'd like to yell back or flip someone off, I just look straight ahead and keep running, knowing it's best not to engage with anyone. I never bring my iPod and I always carry my phone. I stay alert and I change routes frequently.

I know that running in the United States presents its own challenges and there are some parts of life that are deterrents to running regardless of where you live. But I can't wait until we're on vacation and I can wear shorts, run in nice weather, and have grandparents around to help with Muffin-care.

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Liz Jones said…
Good for you, Stephanie, for making the effort! I find it impossible to run here - it is much harder than in the U.S. I try to go to the park or the lake with the dog, but between people yelling at me (don't know if it is the shorts or the dog), stray dogs, and the stink of the lake and cars, it is generally unpleasant. I really miss running for fun!
Liz Jones said…
Stephanie, good for you for making the effort! I find it almost impossible to run here - much harder than in the U.S. Sometimes I try to run at the park or the lake with my dog, but between people yelling at me (don't know if it is my shorts or my dog), the stray dogs, the stink of the lake and car exhaust, it is pretty unpleasant. I really miss running for fun.
Dani said…
oh yes, I hear you on this one. I used to be devoted to my morning run in the States, granted it was pre-kid but even so, I did whatever it took to get out the door, even for only a quick 20 minute jog. Then China happened. I'm used to waking up, throwing on shots and running out the front door but the pollution here, even on "blue sky days" is so bad that my chest gets tight and my throat hurts after only a few minutes on the streets. I've already got the "Chengdu hack" even without running. We have a (moldy, smelly, creepy, potentially haunted) "gym" on the compound with a few treadmills but for some reason I just could never bring myself to run there more than once or twice a week pre-baby. I too have the guilt about making my husband (who is sooo not a morning person) take care of Will before he goes to work so I can go run, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to get over that if I'm every going to start running regularly again. Its a fair trade for being the one to take care of every single nighttime wake up right??

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