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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why?

I visited my dad this past weekend and was rather disturbed. He is a big guy, tall, big-boned, and can stand to lose quite a bit of weight. And I realize he has bad knees and arthritis from a lifetime of sports injuries. But he was barely able to walk after getting off the couch, was hobbling around like a 90 year old man (he is barely in his mid-fifties). He made a comment that he was sore from mowing the backyard that morning. And FTR, it is a postage stamp yard, half filled with a pool and a barn. So, I am a little worried about him. I even asked him if he was this bad now, where was he going to be in 10-15 years? I told him he needed to start exercising rather than sitting on the couch watching sports and golf all day. He wasn't real interested in that.

So after my 5.5 mile run the other day, the snarky person inside of me sent him this text "Hey old man, I ran 5.5 miles this morning!"

He didn't respond.

I talked to him on the phone the other night and he mentions the text and asked me why I punish myself like that. I responded that it wasn't punishment, that I enjoy it.

So why do I run? Pastor and I had this conversation during a short run yesterday. He was curious if I felt it was a healing process for me due to a difficult childhood. No, not really. It's crossed my mind, but it's not my focus. I don't think about that while running.

So why?

It started out because I wanted to lose weight and I hated it. After starting and stopping a couple times, I found the Couch to 5k program and finally stuck with it. After nearly 2 years, I haven't lost any weight, but I am sticking with it and I love it now.

I love that peacefulness I experience while running, just me and the road and God. I love that feeling of accomplishment when I am done. I love (and hate) pushing myself physically beyond what I think I am capable of. I love pushing myself mentally, that when my brain tells me I need to stop because my body is exhausted, I can tell it "maybe later". I love the energy burst I get after a run, it's better than coffee (though it will never replace it)! I love having it as a way to spend time with good friends and my husband and my daughter. I love how it's a stress reliever when I am upset. I love running.

Running has given me a healthier body. Even if I haven't lost weight, I am still healthier than I was 2 years ago. Running has given me confidence I didn't realize I had lost. Running has given me a sense of inner strength. Running has given me a way to break through obstacles in life.

Running is a gift I give myself every time I go out.

Monday, November 7, 2011

6 days, 3 runs, 12.75 miles

Wednesday, 4 miles
Saturday, 3.25 miles
Today, 5.5 miles

I am definitely bumping up my game now. And you know what? I feel better with these longer distances than with the shorter ones. It almost feels easier in a way. I guess I was ready to move on. A new route probably helps too.

There is a half-marathon relay coming up in less than a month. Shaun and I are considering it, but he is worried about the weather. There is a 5k that day too, so maybe we will do that instead. 3.1 miles in crappy weather is better than 6.55!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfect time of year

Fall is the perfect time of year to run. Perfect temperatures, smelling the leaves, all that good stuff.

I haven't ran since Saturday (I did 2.8 miles that day). Sick child and only about 6 hours of sleep in 3 days, I just wasn't feeling up to anything strenuous. So this morning I texted Pastor (of course) to see if he was feeling up to a run. Of course he was!

I should know by now, that every time we run together, he pushes me. Usually far beyond I think I can go. But for some reason, I enjoy running with him and maybe I am a glutton for punishment. Or perhaps, unconsciously, I want to be pushed. Either way, I know what I'm in for when I ask him to run.

So we meet up and venture off on a slightly different route than usual, but will still take us to our normal turnaround spot. We get close and he suggest continuing on down the road and down this ginormous hill. I concede. Running down the hill was so much fun! As long as I didn't look behind me anyway.....

We get to the bottom and stretch a bit. After a few minutes, I said "let's go, I won't be any more ready to do this than I am now." So we went back up the hill.

It's a pretty big hill. We live at one of the highest points in the county. It goes up a bit, levels off, goes up a bit, levels off, repeat......you get the point. At one point, we had to stop due to a tractor and traffic (didn't want to get run over) and we walked one of the level parts. In all honesty, the hill wasn't as bad as I had always thought it would be.

The rest of the run was good. We did walk a few times. But physically I felt great! We got to the end of my street where I decided I would be done and walk home. He didn't agree and suggested we run back down to the other end of my street. I agree on the condition that I walk home from the other end as I had enough of hills for the morning. So we did. Back at my driveway, my distance was 3.88 miles. He told me to finish up to 4 and I did.

Pastor definitely pushed me today. I conquered 4 mills and the ginormous hill. I'm not sore anywhere yet as of 2 hours post run. Lots of water today. Maybe I can get Caitlin out to run today, she hasn't ran since the 5k. If I feel up to it, maybe we will both go out together. Or maybe she will get on the treadmill. We will see.

But I feel good. Really good.