I have a love/hate relationship with running… for years I’ve had this feeling that I’m supposed to be a runner. After all it’s the most natural form of exercise… we certainly weren’t meant to float our legs out sideways like on ellipticals, were we?
- Freedom! You’re literally running away from things… dogs, cars, escaped babies, crazy people, you name it.
- Me time! I get lots of time to think, which is a favourite past-time of mine.
- Feeling like a kid! Running is just one of those activities that seems childish… in a good way.
- Nature! Especially in the spring when everything is freshly growing and smells amazing. And who doesn’t love being out in the sunshine?
- Romantic ideals! Who doesn’t envy those people in movies who rise early, strap on a pair of sneakers, and go for a sprint, all while looking amazing and healthy?
- Being slow! How am I supposed to get away from things if they run faster than I do… those darn escaped babies.
- Pain! For the life of me, I can’t seem to appease my shins, calves, and whatever the mysterious muscle is down the outsides of my legs.
- Not feeling like a kid! Running makes me realize just how old my body really is.
- Running indoors! Let’s face it, over half of our year is winter and I have no interest in breaking various bones attempting to run on icy sidewalks.
- Unrealistic ideals! Who doesn’t hate those people in movies who rise early, strap on a pair of sneakers, and go for a sprint, all while looking amazing and healthy?
I’ve tried just not running, but that seemed less than productive and, frankly, no fun.
On Mother’s Day I ran in a “race” for charity with my sister-in-law. I’ve done these before – my first was a few years ago, on my 26th birthday, when I ran my first 10km. I was pretty proud of myself! I went on to do another 10km later that year. This time I only did 5km on account of my stupid legs, but that was plenty for me given that I hadn’t really trained at all leading up to it.
Hey, nothing like waking up and deciding to run a great distance without any real preparation!
I like these types of events because I find I perform better when I’m running with a group versus just on my own or with a friend. The crowd seems to carry me with them for a while, which is both encouraging and shaming – at the very least I don’t stop running until I’m sure there are fewer people behind me than in front so I don’t feel so pathetic. That kind of motivation seems to work well for me.
The best part about this “race” in particular was the fact that it was all about Mother’s Day and therefore family time. It was awesome to see so many dads and moms running with their kids, sometimes even holding hands while they ran. Pretty darn sweet. And even if the family wasn’t running with the individual, they were there to cheer them on when they started and finished. I got to go with my hubby and my sister-in-law was supported by my brother and their two kids. It felt special. I was definitely on a high, and not just from painkillers.
If all runs were like this one, I could add another item to the Love list and possibly tip the scales…