Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reasons for Running.

I know I've been posting like crazy about running and all the crap that I've been doing with running.

And I'm sure you are sick of reading about it or maybe when I say "get out there and do it" I'm offending you. Or, better yet, maybe I've inspired you to try something.

Either way, I think putting out some background information about WHY I run, may be helpful in understanding why I post so much about it.

Running isn't easy for me. It doesn't come naturally. I'm not the best runner, I'm not very competitive and I'm not as in shape as I wish I was. I probably look like a crazy person running from zombies when I run. I listen to music loudly, sing along and even dance a little when I hear a favorite and I just go.

Running for me is my escape.

It's MY time. Only mine.

I don't have to think about anyone or anything for the time I'm out there. There are no kids demanding my time, no menus to plan, no house to clean and no appointments to schedule. I don't care about what I look like, who might see me, what could be jiggling or moving when I run.

It's just me and the road.

(Sorry if that sounds like a commercial.)

I go at 5:30 a.m. and it's the best time of the day in the summer. The sunrise is stunning to see, it's quiet, it's cool and it feels like the world is mine. I turn on my music and take my time. There's seriously nothing like it. I've run in the evening, while that's nice too, I tend to have more on my mind at the end of the day that's harder to shake off. In the morning, I get to hop out of bed and hit the road, without much thought about my day, because it hasn't really started yet.

When I'm done with my run, I head home, shower and get ready for the day (unless I lay down and conk back out until the kids wake me a half hour later). It's such a perfect way to start out the day that I have started to look forward to it, rather than dread it. I get to make a smoothie, make the kids some breakfast and when I run, I'm in a better mood throughout the day.

When I started working out in the gym, I hated it. I hated running on the treadmill and I would make so many excuses to talk myself out of going. SO MANY excuses.

My list of excuses kept growing longer and longer, until I just stopped going. For example:

1. It's raining.
2. It's too cold to go outside.
3. I went to bed too late last night.
4. I ate too much crap the night before.
5. I haven't had enough water lately.
6. I didn't shave my legs.
7. My bed is soooo warm.
8. I have my period.
9. My kids woke me up last night.
10. I have too much to do today and the gym won't be one of them.

Once I cleared out all my excuses and told myself that there were going to be no more, I just decided to run. That's it. Just get out there and run, but not inside, I was going to stay outside this time. No matter what.

I found some freedom, running outside.

That's why I write about it. That's why I encourage others to try it.

I also suggest a great book that was a big inspiration lately. I bought it and read it in 8 hours. It's that amazing and will challenge you or inspire you. I promise.

It's called Born to Run- Christopher McDougall. I was amazed by this writer! I couldn't put the darn thing down. He discusses the Tarahumara, a society that was literally born to run and you can't help but be fascinated by them and want to learn more. There are some magnificent characters that you get to meet throughout this book that show you that anyone can be a runner. There was so much research done regarding running barefoot and concludes with one epic race at the end. The author uses his own techniques throughout the story to see if they make him a better runner and you just can't help wanting to run after reading this.

It made me want to get up and just see how long I could run.

What's also interesting that I found out from this book, that all my excuses I had previously, were completely invalid. These were people that ran in EVERY element. Including Death Valley in the summer. It's funny when I look outside and think, "it's too damn hot to run". Then I read about people doing full out ultra marathons in Death Valley when it's 135 degrees. That's hot. Melting shoes, skin melting, passing out HOT. Here's a link, just in case you are feeling curious or crazy. I would never do this. Ok, I'm not going to say never, because I just get a little more crazy every year that passes, but I really don't want to do this at this point in my life.

There are others that run barefoot over rocks, some that run through snow, over mountains or in the wilderness for days. I'm amazed by these people. I'm inspired by these people who don't let these excuses get in the way of their passion for running. They just want to run. I want to be that person. I will be that person. One day.

I just wanted to share this small part with you. Not sure if it's helpful or encouraging. But these are my motivators, my reasons for running, my escape from "normal" where I can just be me for a half hour. Hopefully, one day, much longer than a half hour.

My next "challenge", I'm hoping to do this next year, is a 13-mile Half-Marathon.

Scares me. I'm up to 3 miles on a good day. But, no excuses...right?


  1. Just so you know, you have inspired me, yes you! The Air Force has drive behind it but you have inspired me, I ran last sunday, it was not what I had hoped for, I took the kids with me, they rode ther bikes I ran, but not a good plan Tristin rides slower than I run crazy right I thought I ran like a snail.... and then he wants to stop and explore along the way, so then I have to stop and get him back on his bike, and then I made the mistake of running past a was over after that all three kids turned towards the park and thats where my run ended, I think it was about a half mile thats it....
    So then Monday came and it was pouring outside so I didnt run, would have actually been a good run but excuses excuses, then Tuesday came and I felt fairly yucky all day so I didnt run, that was a little more justified... then last night came, I made a deal with my neighbor she will watch my kids for me while I run, it was so much easier that way, I ran a full mile in 10 minutes, and I thought I would die the whole time but guess what I didnt, so after almost 5 yrs of not running I did a whole mile.
    So my plan is to run every night, I will build my endurance and my tolerance, because as you know I will PT test next month so I must run and because I want to run the 5k in Sept. I also need to work on my upper body strength so I can do my minimum 19 push ups, that will be harder for me believe it or not, any suggestions?

    Thanks for the inspiration.....

  2. Bleh on push-ups. But I'm glad and wish we could run together! There are so many days when I think I'm going to not finish the run, but then I do. When that happens I'm always surprised and then it gets easier and easier to do. When I finished my first 5K without stopping, I was so surprised but thrilled that the work I was putting in was paying off finally!

    Maybe try one of those jogging stollers, build upper body strength and trap kiddos while you run with the promise of a park trip when your done?

    A mile is fantastic and a great start! I wish you the best girl! It looks like you are on your way to that 5K.

    Also, I was looking into the app called couch to 5K. I've heard many people swear by it. I'm also going to do a running plan on how many miles per day I should do to get to a 10K before October. I feel as if I put in on a calendar it makes it more official and I may stand a chance of sticking to it.

  3. Hi! First time reader here, I saw a comment you made on the Bloggess. Here are some things I used to say : "I only run if someone is chasing me. With a knife. And even then I may not cause they'd probably catch me anyways and then I would just die out of breath." Then one day I ran. Hm, felt good, then I ran again...I bet you know where this is going. I got the "running mate" couch to 5k podcast on my iphone and low-and-be-damned-hold, I ran a 5k, then another and another. (He also makes a 10k program that is super!) I LOVE getting out there and being out there "just me and the road", running is more than physical for me, it's mental. I go through such a mental process when I am running a 5k - all by myself. I want to quit, I don't - I keep going, I work through it. These are qualities I had yet to master in my 38 years of living. I have let my 5k training slip a bit, but on any given day I can run a mile and sometimes two. I run in between Zumba days or on days that I don't want to THINK about my workout. That's another thing that's great about running, you dont have to decide WHAT to do, how many, etc etc, just RUN. Simple. (even moreso when doing the C25K program, he tells you how long to run then tells you to really is very pleasant and very motivating - even has a facebook page for support. I think I have just convinced myself to do it again.) I have run 5 5k's, my best time is 30:39. (my biggest goal was to get below 31 and I cried when I did - I got first place in my age group for that one and even got a medal! Yay me!) I am easily 30 pounds overweight, so I am an unlikely runner and I am constantly trying to lose weight - I exercise like a freak, I just love bad food too much. I am the most fit fat chick you will ever meet, is what I always say. :)
    Anyways, I could have totally written this whole post, except that I am no writer, but it really struck me. I have inspired a few of my friends to start running and have seriously taken off with it, and some to improve their running rather it be distance or time. That feels really good. :)
    Looking at some of the titles of your other posts (which I will go read some of now), it looks like we are going to have alot in common. I have 2 kids, but I work full time.
    Thank you for this post!
    Devan, mommy of 2 in TN


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