Name the French Canadian songstress quoted in the title of this post.
Oh you’re not sure? That’s insane. Let me give you some hints:
- She is beautiful.
- She can hit notes no other singer can rival and she belts it full-out every single time. Suck it, Mariah Carey.
- She won the award for Best Singer & Human Ever. Award created by Ali Feller. Also voted on by Ali Feller. (Still waiting for the singer to accept the award and come pick it up at my apartment, in person, wearing sequins.)
- She looks really awesome in sequins. And also pantsuits.
- She knows all the words to the title song from Titanic.
- She is amazing.
It’s Celine Dion.
But this post is not about the fact that I think Ms. Dion is the most talented person of all time. Of all time. (Italics and repetition for emphasis.)
This post is about how Ali Got Her Groove Back.
Not my dance groove — my running groove and, subsequently, my life groove.
As you know all too well (because I have not shut up about it), running as of late has not been noteworthy, fun, easy, enjoyable or, honestly, pleasant at all. After a full two-week hiatus, I returned to the roads hoping to gloriously and effortlessly return to the paces I was hitting back in November, when I was training for the Las Vegas Half Marathon and, in my opinion, was in pretty peak physical condition (despite a total bonk on the race course — oops).
Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, I ran a few times and it was hard. Really, really hard. My legs felt lead-like, I was panting after a minute, and my pace was downright depressing. Naturally I got discouraged. I didn’t expect a short amount of time off to really affect my fitness level — but it did.
Then, I took a Tabura (African dance meets kickboxing) class on Wednesday…
…and my shin was killing me afterward. Too much impact. Too much excitement. I was pissed. I thought I had taken one step forward and 10 Afro-hip-shaking steps back.
Today, though, something wonderful happened. I set out to run some miles, and even though my stomach was a total mess (I took care of that right around mile 2) I felt good. No shin pain. No hip pain. I ran without music (that never happens) so I could just enjoy myself, and I wore my watch hoping for the best, expecting the worse, and convincing myself not to go all head-case if the numbers weren’t the ones I’ve dreamed of.
Were the numbers magical? No.
But were they acceptable? Oh heck yeah. Especially compared to the past few runs I’ve had.
Like I said, the second mile was the “The tennis court bathrooms better be open and OMG why are they so far away right now?” mile. Rough.
I settled into an 8:40-ish pace eventually, and I was loving life. The park was packed and gorgeous, and I did one loop on the Bridle Path and another around the Reservoir. I stopped once for water and to do my tricep dips, and I was psyched that when I started again, I didn’t get that throbbing pain in my shin that I had sadly grown used to. Instead, I just started running again, and I was fine. I was especially loving life during those middle miles, clearly.
The whole time I felt like I was working, but I wasn’t dying.
I guess it’s true: The fitness comes back, it won’t be easy at first, but all hope is not lost after a brief running hiatus.
I would have loved to keep going, but like I keep saying (more for my own benefit than yours, obviously), I’m not going to push it. I had more miles in me, sure, but I want to build my mileage back up very, very slowly. I don’t think double-digits are on the plan for this week, or even next week. But I’ll get there, and when I do, it’s going to kick ass.
So yeah. It’s a good day.
Today marked my first solid post-injury run, and I hope there are many more to follow.
I didn’t handle injury so well. [Stop laughing and rolling your eyes, Brian, you jerk.] I’m pretty sure that if my shin, hip or any other body part flares up again, or continues to hurt, Brian might kindly suggest I find somewhere else to stay.
Luckily I have a neighbor with a puppy and I’m sure they’re just dying for company. (This is possibly true, but really it’s just an excuse to post another photo of Lauren’s pup, Parker.)
Before today, I was not in consistently great spirits. OK, I’ll be more honest: I was a little cranky.
Fine, I was a complete, psychotic bitch.
Being injured sucks! Being injured when your friends are running the fastest races of their lives really sucks. Springtime is one of my favorite times to run (I also love fall, winter and summer) and I feared I’d miss the entire season.
On top of the non-running thing, these past few days — weeks, months — have been sort of tough. I’ve been in a funk, I’ve been stressed — probably my own doing — and I’ve been eating shit, which never makes me feel particularly great. This week I have managed to survive solely on pupcakes, and while they’re adorable and delicious, I’m feeling a little gross. Yeah I’ll say it: I have felt flabby and out of shape, and the slow, sluggish runs I endured earlier in the week did nothing to boost my confidence.
Today, my confidence is boosted, at least slightly.
I’m not breaking any records. I’m not running what most people would call “fast.” But I’ll get there — and today is the first day since getting hurt that I’ve actually said that to myself and believed it.
SO TELL ME: What gives you an immediate confidence boost?