Why I Run and Ride

When I first got the notion to start running 11 years ago, immediately I started competing with myself.  Let’s be honest, at that point, I was the only competition that I could keep up with.  I wanted to overtake the previous distance.  I didn’t know about the couch to 5K program if it even existed back then, but it is very nearly the way I began running.  I ran from telephone pole to telephone pole.  Soon, I conquered one mile straight out then walked back home a mile.  I aspired to go farther and farther.   

Fast forward a  few years and two kids, I entered my first 5K race.  Entering the race was only a symptom of my amply developed passion.  At home, I was running four miles nearly every day, but not for training, just to run.  I knew I could run a 5K without grief.  I finished 3rd in my age group but my running remains more about me than it is about racing.  These days, I run 1-3 races a year.   I run about 600 miles a year.  (Completing nor more than 20 miles total in shoes in the last 1.5 years)

That’s right, my running is more about me than racing.  When I look deep inside and analyze why I run, I see a woman who revels in using her own power to go somewhere.  I take pride in using my two feet (legs, lungs, etc) and nothing else to travel distances people consider “out of their way” in a car.    I enjoy the sense of success as landmark after landmark approaches, is a breast, then is out of view.   It seems easier to appreciate mother earth when I spend so much time massaging her derma.  

Although, another day passed without a run (except the half hour playing tag with the Cub Scouts), I’m finding gratification in another activity, biking.  My corner of the earth may be a menial place to ride.  Our trails of any length are converted old railroad tracks.  There aren’t any hills or mountains.  The corn stalks outnumber the trees by 5 to 1.  Still, I find supplanting the bike for the car as I make my way through town delivers satisfaction akin to running.  I am the central source of power that moves this machine forward.  I am the reason that I get from point A to point B.  I reduce the damage caused from eating M&Ms. .. ahem, I mean, I reduce the damage I cause to the earth. 

I may not have a lot of gadgets like a Garmin.  I may have a broken down 21 speed bike.  I may wear cotton biking shorts from Walmart for all my sweat inducing activities.  I may go barefoot or in minimalist shoes.  Most importantly, I am my own energy source.

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Filed under Barefoot, cycling, running

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