Yesterday, I ran one and a half miles. The last time I ran was three and a half months ago, and I made it 50 miles. Unfortunately, I also broke my pelvis in the process, and it turns out that takes a really long time to heal. Three and a half months to be exact.
Except what nobody really told me was that you have to recover from your recovery. I am not the runner I was three and a half months ago. I can feel muscle weakness where it did not exist before, and it will be a slow process building it back up. For one thing, I’m only allowed a mile and a half at a time at the moment. A little more each week. In about two months, I’ll be up to 5K. I haven’t run only a 5K in years, but I’m so excited about the prospect I could drool on myself.
You know what I miss? I miss seeing the city on my feet. When I would travel, I would take my running shoes because I really believed you didn’t know a place until you got some of its dirt in the tread of your sneakers. I backpacked – literally – in Europe last fall and used half of my meager bag space for running shoes and clothes. I got up at 6 a.m. in Paris and ran along the Seine, and it was the best run of my life.
(It also meant I frequented a little café called Breakfast in America, which obviously served American-style breakfasts. I can’t bring myself to be embarrassed by this because when you’re running you need protein. You need somebody to cook you an egg. A croissant and an espresso, no matter how tasty, could kill you.)
I haven’t run in so long I miss seeing my own city. When I’m in training for a big race, I’m thinking about the miles covered, my time, my splits, my hydration. But I’m not in training. I’m getting reacquainted with my running self again, and I’ve got time to see my city again. The fortune tellers on Venice boardwalk, the Santa Monica pier. Maybe I’ll take my sneakers with me when I run errands in Westwood, Pasadena, downtown, Redondo Beach.
I’m slow. But I’m back.