February 24, 2020
Now that the weather is starting to get out of freezing temperatures, I see more people out running. The twinge of lacing up my Brooks Ghost 9’s hits me.
Then I tense up thinking about how to get started again. Do I power up the trusty old Runkeeper app? What songs should I add to my playlist?
Running was my go to form of exercise but it wasn’t as easy as lacing up and heading out the door.
The Reason I Started Running
From the beginning, I was trying to figure out how to run faster, better, longer and harder. Technically, the first run was to get out and do something for myself when the kids were little.
I gained so much clarity on my runs and loved the solace they provided. As I continued, I had goals to fulfill. It’s started with a 5k and kept going up from there.
Instead of enjoying the run and being out in nature, I spent my time calculating numbers about my run, time and speed. I would set my Runkeeper app and music, never really getting zenned out on the run.
The Reason I Stopped
When I trained for the Chicago Marathon back in 2016, I focused my energy on finishing the race. There were so many numbers and calculations running through my head that running had become a chore.
And because of that I injured myself. The plantar fasciitis in my foot caused me to stop running that year. Occasionally, I’ll pick it back up but the thought of doing a couch to 5K seems daunting. It’s not the distance that scares me but the training.
As I watch runners in my neighborhood, I ponder the possibility of leaving my phone at home and heading out for a run. Outside, I can be alone with my thoughts, enjoying all that nature has to offer. Soaking in my surroundings, allows me to not think about the task at hand.
In all actuality, I want to run like Forrest Gump. He wasn’t running for anything or for anybody, he just ran. He would sleep when he got tired and eat when he was hungry. This is a type of running style I could get behind.
The Reason I Could Start Again
My running days might not be totally behind me, but letting go of checking off the tick marks is difficult for me to grasp. I like the idea of not keeping track of anything and just going out to run.
I could walk when I get tired and run when I felt like it. My pace could be as slow or as fast as I want. Channeling Phoebe from Friends could be my mantra and run like we did when we were kids. Not caring about what other people think or what we should be doing.
With two years of a solid, daily yoga practice, I’m pretty sure my feet would be in good hands. It’s great to have goals, but running is not always about what race to run next. Sometimes it’s about how you feel after a run. The endorphins racing through your body. Maybe if I let go of all expectations, I could truly experience that runner’s high.
It’s time to go back to the notion of unplugging from the craziness of life and let running be cathartic. My time has come to take another shot of this running life, but this time I’m leaving my phone at home.
Have you ever run for fun?