Ran today for the first time in weeks.  Bronchitis has taken its toll in January.  From running a marathon last May to now, it’s been a slow decay.  By mid summer I was only running weekends.  By fall, just Saturdays.  And January, mostly not at all.

Heading out, initially it was my massive midsection that I noticed.  Like Sisyphus, I powered my stomach forward, enslaved to my fattened body parts.  Twenty pounds heavier since running the Colorado Marathon down Poudre Canyon. I didn’t bother timing my pace.

I ran by Allison, strolling her baby on the LoBo Trail.  I stopped to chat since I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen her, and because I didn’t think a full stop would noticeably impact my overall pace.  A half mile later, I soft-tapped a low five to her father Steve, running behind her.

Heading back, after making it to my four mile turn-around point, I discovered my atrophied muscles.  I’d been wondering when my legs would lose their tone.  Overall, my legs still look fit but it’s the high thigh, the quads, that shouted out to me on my return.  It’s the same feeling after about twenty miles into a marathon when those quads begin to melt.  When you’re out of shape, this occurs at four miles instead of twenty.  I had to stop and walk a couple of times, not because I was winded from my heaving belly, but from the pain screaming from the tops of my legs.  Regaining my conditioning is going to be a challenge.  I’m starting over, from the bottom again.