This past spring I ran one kilometer to see if I could do it without stopping. Let’s just say that I’m not really a natural runner. I’m becoming okay with that. It may not be one of my strengths, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do it and enjoy it.
Here is a collection of my experiences, tips and thoughts about running.
- One time a squirrel and I almost simultaneously ran each other over. It was traumatizing for everyone involved.
- Skunks do exist. I know this because I saw them on someone’s front lawn right beside the sidewalk while I was on a run. I have not yet run into the Loch Ness Monster, but I confess that I hope she also exists.
- Due to my personal schedule and the limited number of daylight hours at this time of year, I have been going running in the dark. I initially felt a little bit weird about this, but quickly caught on that everyone and their dog are out walking in the dark, so it can’t be too dangerous. If everyone else is doing it, that means it’s a good thing to do, right?
- While running, I do a lot of thinking. One time, I was so lost in my thoughts, that I ran right past the street where we live and didn’t clue in until I started running out of street to run on.
- I like to imagine that while running, I look all long and lean and athletic. However, one time I caught a glimpse of my shadow on a fence that I was running past, and it looked more like Gru from Despicable Me than long and lean and athletic. Sigh.
- You don’t have to stop running to rest. I learned this from Ricky. If you’re tired, just run more slowly. You don’t have to walk to rest. I know. I can’t believe I had to be taught this. I wonder if it applies to other areas of life too…
- Set little goals to work towards. Sometimes my goal has been to go running ten times in the month. Sometimes my goal has just been to break my own record for speed. This month, there’s a certain number of kilometers that I’m aiming to run.
- Use an app to track your progress. Runkeeper does the job well for me.
- Give yourself rewards. I’m serious. I haven’t met my running goals for the past two months, and therefore, no rewards for me. (It’s quite tragic.) But I sure do hope that I meet November’s goals because I definitely do want this month’s reward.
- If you take a Kleenex with you, your nose won’t run. However, if you do not take a Kleenex, your nose will run.
- There’s something rewarding and empowering about knowing that your own two feet can run you from Point A to Point B without needing to stop.
- Your huffing and puffing sounds louder to you than it will to anyone that you run past. Probably. Right? Also, huffing and puffing is a natural part of running. At least that’s what they tell me.
- What is annoying is when your legs feel tired, but your brain just won’t let them quit. There have been a few times that my brain has gone into that mode. Often, though, my legs and my brain are on the same page about quitting. (Hardcore is not a word I would use to describe myself. I am often all too willing to quit.)
Here is my concluding thought:
- I don’t run super far, and I don’t run super fast. I don’t even run super regularly. But the way I figure, something is better than nothing. Also, my goal isn’t to be able to go fast or far. My goals are to spend time outside, move my body, and challenge myself to be disciplined enough to do something that doesn’t come naturally to me. But you know what? I have gotten stronger. I don’t know if it was a physical change or a mental change, but I can go farther and faster than I used to. It feels good and it makes me want to keep going. And so I think I will keep going. Even though it’s November.
Photo credits go to the coolest and nicest Ricky Martin ever.