Platts: Born to run…again | AspenTimes.com

Platts: Born to run…again

by BARBARA PLATTS

It may come as a surprise to read this, particularly if you have seen my healthy physique as of late, but I used to be a huge runner. That was my sport. No matter the day, no matter the weather, I wanted to be outside on a run. Away from the details of everyday life, running was something that always calmed my anxieties and upped my spirits. I took that hobby and held it dear. It was personal time, me time, my happy place.

Running became a hobby of mine in high school and grew into an addiction of sorts in college. I signed up for all kinds of races and even spent a summer in Carbondale interning for Trail Runner Magazine. My goal was always to run a marathon, but about a month before I got there, I injured myself in a half-marathon. Shortly after that I hiked Kilimanjaro as my college graduation present. I was not fully healed at the time and the downhill from that massive peak only made my injury worse. Only a week or so later, I landed in Aspen and started working.

I arrived in town at the beginning of the 2012-13 ski season. I got into physical therapy to help heal my injury so I could ski as often as possible. My plan was to get back into running that spring. But, as I’ve said numerous times in previous columns, the athletic scene in this town is highly intimidating. Just when you start feeling proud about an athletic feat you’ve accomplished you will find out that someone else has done it two or three times in a row blindfolded…when they were five years old, most likely. I was discouraged by everyone else’s inhuman like endurance and decided to invest my time in the social scene instead, trading my sprinting for shots of tequila. I figured, if I couldn’t keep up on the trail, I would find other ways to be involved. Needless to say, my passion for running fell by the wayside fast.

Running has never been easy for me. Not even when I was running daily. It’s always, every single time, a struggle to get into. But being able to see what my body can do, despite my mind constantly telling me no, is always so remarkable. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, hoping that sooner or later it will come together as one fluid movement. Yes, it’s painful, no doubt. It’s almost similar to a shot of tequila — it hurts during and directly after, but the overall outcome soothes.

After about three and a half years of lengthy hikes, strenuous powder days, hot yoga classes and a rather long stint at Pure Barre, which provided me with an ass that was borderline bootylicious, I finally realized that something was missing. I knew exactly what it was, but in order for me to get back into my first addiction, I knew I needed a goal, something to reach for. With that in mind, I signed up for a half marathon. It takes place at the end of July in Estes Park.

Since then, the running apps are back on my iPhone. My playlist has been taken over by top 40 hits to help with motivation during my runs. Blisters have collected on my feet again, from the arches to the tips of my toes. I can’t get a pedicure without horrifying the nail technician. My entire life seems to revolve around when to schedule my daily workout. Plus, my dog has learned to expect several miles daily and gets vocally upset with me when that expectation isn’t met. And the funny thing about all of this is I wouldn’t want it any other way. No, I’m not going to finish first in the half marathon, and I’m certain I’ll never be able to keep up on the trails with at least two-thirds of the residents in this town. But I’m coming to terms with that. If I’m going to run, I have to be able to do it for me and no one else (besides my pup).

The race is two and a half weeks away…time to start praying. Plus, I should probably put the tequila away, at least for now.

Barbara Platts isn’t actually that big of a tequila drinker. She just thought it compared well to running. She’s more of a wine girl. Reach her at bplatts.000@gmail.com.


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