Bringing Me Right Back

On Thursday, I was at a store that sold the same brand of unpasteurized coconut water — Exotic Superfoods — that I drank heavily while training for the marathon last summer and fall. It had been awhile since I was in a store that sold this brand, so I bought a couple bottles. When I took my first sip, it brought me right back to my training. I felt like I was still in that time; I felt like I just finished running 18 miles.

It was a really weird sensation. We’re all used to hearing a song and being brought back to a specific moment or time, but I had no idea a sip of coconut water would have the same effect. It was eerie in a way, and it made me actually miss that time I was training for a marathon.

My back hurt last week, so I’ve been resting. Since I’m feeling a lot better now, I wanted to exercise again but didn’t want to jump into anything that would require using my back muscles. Luckily, the weather was not below freezing this morning so I decided to go out for my first run — since November.

I only ran once after completing my marathon. It was probably two weeks after the race, in late November. The run sucked for a number of reasons — I felt extremely dehydrated and I forgot to bring my water bottle. I had to leave the park in search of water. My body was also clearly in need of a break  from running after two marathon attempts in a row. And while I was happy to finish the eight miles I set out for that day, I also knew it was time for a break. Luckily, this coincided with winter. I am not a fan of winter running.

But today was the perfect time to run again! I didn’t have to go crazy with the layers and over the last few weeks, I’ve been really missing running. Deeply. Also, I signed up for a 10K race in April.

I thought it would feel strange, unnatural, to run again. I don’t know why. Last year, after a much longer break, I jumped back in easily. But this time, I thought my legs would forget what to do and it would just feel hard. It didn’t. I thought I would lose my speed. I didn’t.

As soon as I started going, I felt comfortable. And even though I ran for a long time before ever training for a marathon, everything about this morning — from going to the far opposite corner from my apartment to get a Garmin signal, to running to the park and up and down the streets, to finishing near my apartment and picking up a coffee to sip as I got ready for work — it all brought me back to my training. I even considered getting an iced coffee after, which I often did after my morning training runs. But it was about 85 degrees at the time, so I stuck to hot today.

The run didn’t feel strange, but the memories of the months I spent training for the marathon did. I felt like I was in two places at once — September, 2011 and February, 2012. Or like I was two different mes. Or like I was watching a much more naive version of myself, only instead of watching her, I was being her.

I’m sure that as I start running again I’ll feel more in the present, especially as I start training for races. For now, I kind of like how running is bringing me right back.

6 comments on Bringing Me Right Back

  1. melissa
    February 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, congrats on your return to running. The mild winter has made running much easier. I can never get motivated to run when I have to put on 10 layers. What 10k did you sign up for?
    melissa´s last blog post ..Miami to Hollywood!

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  2. Kate
    February 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Amen! Great post! Awesome that you’re back out there!

    Reply
  3. Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run
    February 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Marathon memories are so great. Every time I start a new training program I am reminded of my last marathon and it’s great motivation. Enjoy the nostalgia – once you start running more regularly again, the memories will fade a bit.
    Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run´s last blog post ..Stupid Sickness and Lead Legs

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  4. Kaye Beeh
    March 3, 2012 at 8:21 am (2 years ago)

    I know the feeling, like you look back all of a sudden from the present and remember something that is painful or one of the weirdest moments ever. But youll find your way back into it again. Sometimes you have to leave and regain what you lost.

    But others have a great day :)

    Reply
  5. Stacy L.
    March 6, 2012 at 10:10 am (2 years ago)

    Love this post! I totally feel you. There are just those little sensations that can bring you back to a single moment in time. For me, it’s music. I think I can associate every song with a specific spot in NYC while running. I have my “reservoir songs” and my “East River songs.” Though all of a sudden I’m tempted to incorporate coconut water into my runs.

    Reply

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