My first and last run of the year was on January 1. When I went running that day, I didn’t plan on taking an extended hiatus from running, but I wasn’t leaping into the new year with a ton of goals and dreams, either. I was just doing it, because it is what I do. It is what I have done for many years.

Then kids got sick and I got sick. And then kids got sick again and here I am, 48 hours into a course of amoxycillin trying to purge strep from my throat. The baby has a virus that causes her cheeks to flush with red; she looks like a painted doll. A constant refrain of “Boogers! Boogers!” rings out from my son’s bedroom every morning he wakes up and has his first sneeze of the day. It is a revolving door of disease. It is officially old.

Before I knew it, I hadn’t been running in a week. Then it was ten days. Then fourteen. Throughout this time I’d been following that 30 day challenge I mentioned last time (it’s this one). And normally I’m not into things like this, because I believe most of them are just ploys to get you to buy something bigger (diet plan, exercise tape, sign away your firstborn).

But I decided I could commit to doing something other than running for 15 minutes a day. And the bonus was that it would be working muscles I have long neglected. It wouldn’t be the equivalent of spending an hour lifting weights in the gym, but it was a start.

Also, my body and mind were just tired of running.

Yesterday was Day 18—I had to do Day 17 and 18 together because I missed a day from being to sick to do anything other than exist—and I’m rather impressed that I’ve made it this far. No, I haven’t seen drastic changes—there are no before and after pictures, you must be kidding—but I can tell you that the body squats are a lot easier and I can actually do more than a few pushups in a row. I have never done this much core strengthening work, and now I can manage to side plank without toppling over. And my ass? It’s sore. That’s how I know it’s working. (Note: my ass is never sore when I run, because I’m pretty sure I never use it.)

In between all the sick days I’ve tried to get out and ski, bike, and snowshoe. Not as often as I’d like, but I’m doing what I can.

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Thanks to a Nancy for lending me her skis to try. I’m almost sold on making this a regular winter thing.
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Blazing new trail on snowshoe
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Working on staying upright on the fat bike

So, when will I run again? After I hit the two week mark, I realized my leg was feeling a lot closer to normal. Maybe it’s helped that I’ve done more strengthening this month and less pounding on the road. I don’t know – I’m not an expert. But I do know that the pain in my heel I’d been battling is almost if not completely gone. My back feels pretty darn good. So I’m going to finish out my 30 day challenge and leave my running shoes in the closet at least until it’s over. It also feels nice to not have to seek out roads that are clear and safe enough to run on without falling and breaking my neck or getting run over by a car.

On a lunch time snowshoe today. No messing with tire pressure, ski wax, or complicated run routing.
On a lunch time snowshoe today. No messing with tire pressure, ski wax, or complicated run routing.

With a half scheduled for 2/14 in Austin, I’ll need to get some miles on the road before then, but I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to that. This break has been nice and much needed. And the snow is going to be around for a long time. I might as well enjoy it.