Tag Archives: running

Are You Still Running?

Susan, my New Jersey intern turned friend from Port Huron, and I sat around a summer back yard fire catching up on life and parenthood.
“Are you still running?” she inquired.
I paused…

A month earlier, I was at a conference networking with your standard R&D introverts. It would have been a slow conversation if it hadn’t been for the free beer and wine at the happy hour. We were discussing the challenges of getting up at 5 am to run in the scholarship fundraiser 5K. Not one of us was planning on running it. The woman next to me admitted that she used to run but she’d gotten injured and never got back into running. I nodded my head knowing what she meant.

I used to fear getting injured so bad that I wouldn’t be able to run while I waited to heal. Three running styles, five pairs of shoes, a set of bare feet, months of early morning walks, turning 40 and two missed Girls On The Run events later, I realize my fear was misplaced. I should have feared losing my desire to run.

I run sporadically. Often, I’ll run in the middle of my morning walk. But, am I running? ie., Am I a Runner?

I have never defined being a “Runner” by speed or distance. To me, being a runner has to do with attitude, desire and a runner’s high. Susan’s inquiry put me in a position where I had to face what had happened. I changed and I no longer feel like I am a runner.

Ever since Susan’s inquiry, I’ve pondered who am I, what am I doing and what do I want? I suppose this is another side affect of going over-the-hill. It’s hard to define a goal when you’ve already taken life’s major stepping stones, run a 5K, win a 5K, run a half, run a sub-25 5K, PR in the half, get injured and run a return 5K. What’s left? Maybe it’s time I did something crazy?

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Filed under exercise, personality flaws, running

Variations On A Theme: Push-Ups

One of those good habits that I want more of is daily push-ups. Push-ups are a fantastic strengthening exercise that really benefits your whole body. Strength is pretty important when you hit that 10th mile.

Which reminds me, “This one time…at band camp…”

Wait, that’s the wrong story…(I’m notorious for starting stories off that way even before American Pie)

Wait! Band camp does actually apply here!

This one time, at band camp, we would have to do 10 push-ups if we didn’t hit the 10 yard line and stop on the tenth step. I spent many hours in the hot sun building strength (and learning to count to 10). That fall, my band friends and I were the only ones on the girls’ basketball team who could do push-ups. Marching band isn’t necessarily wimpy.

Now, that strength should have made me a better basketball player but I still only had 4 points in my entire basketball career. It’s a good thing that my objective is to be a stronger runner and not a stronger shooter.

As much as I praise the mighty push-up, I’ve grown to despise doing them. So many days, I say, “Today!” But, I’m as quick to forget to do them as I am at declaring I will do them. I need a different strategy, at least until I build up some strength.

Today’s strategy: Sun Salutations!

5 full push-ups followed by 5 sun salutations.

I thought about taking a picture of me from below in the push-up position but no one wants to see THAT face!

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Running Shirt

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Today’s running shirt because sometimes I need to remind myself that I can’t wimp out.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good science pun?

I had bigger plans. I planned intense running intervals. I was going to run hard until it hurt. Alas, it was not to be. It hurt alright, but it was not fast. I wouldn’t say I wimped out though so it seems that I met the plan either way.

Somehow, I managed to look happy about it all.

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Daisy Petals

Imagine me sitting in a field of daisies. I have one daisy clutched in my left hand. With the right hand, I pull each petal off, one at a time. With each petal, I alternate saying, “I am a runner…. I am not a runner.”

Each day is another daisy petal. One day, I feel like I am a runner. The next day, I do not feel like I am a runner. Each day, I fret that this will be the last petal and whether that petal will say “runner” or “not”.

I’m too competitive with myself. I am frustrated that I am not running as fast or as far as I used to go. I catch myself wanting to quit due to my disappointing lack of ability. This running thing seems so hard. It seems like I’ll never get my abilities back.

It was easier to become a runner than to rebuild a runner. When I started, I had no expectations of what I could do. As a result, every run lifted me up and my confidence grew exponentially. But, this time around, I know what I should be able to do. When I don’t reach my expectation, don’t even come close to it, it’s a struggle not to be crushed by what once was.

When we were little girls we would use daisy petals to predict if a boy “loved” us or not. Not that the answer mattered because we’d just keep picking daisies until we got the answer we wanted. I just hope there are enough daisies in my field to help me figure out if I want to be a runner or not.

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More, More, More

I feel like I have procrastinated long enough, it is time to face 2014 and get on with this thing. This year the resolution thing didn’t really move me. I can set all the goals I want but if I’m not motivated then it’s a mute point. So this year, I felt like a little introspection was the path to take. When I looked inside, I saw that I want more, more and more.

More Food
It’s a sad situation when you’re relieved that the holidays are over just because you won’t be faced with piles of edibles that make you feel like crap. In 2014, I want more food. The real kind that makes a real contribution to maintaining a physically fit body. By physically fit, I don’t just mean weight loss. I finally kicked sausage to the curb because my non-gull bladder body just can’t deal with it anymore. I’ve had a taste of peacefulness and I want more of it. There are other foods and other components of foods that make it difficult to put on a happy face day in and day out. I want to pinpoint what those foods are and lock them out with the sausage.

More Of What I Used To Have
So many dream of the bodies they had when they were in high school. I don’t really care about that anymore but I would like some of the good habits I used to have when I was about 35 years old. Like carrying a water bottle with me everywhere just so I wouldn’t go thirsty or eating the lunch I brought from home because it was healthier and more economical than fast food. I cared more about what I ate, what I did, and how I did it. I want to be more like I was when I was 35.

20140108-133624.jpgMy motivational poster from 2009/2010 when my attitude was on only a slight decline

More Running
Need I say more? No, I only need to do more.

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Filed under exercise, Lessons learned, running, Uncategorized, Weight loss

Sucks

Saturday, I went for a bona fide run. You know, an outside run where I ran a concrete, measurable distance instead of in place like a hamster. It took me ten steps to realize that this run was going to be onerous, and it was going to suck.

Running on a treadmill is elementary because pressing the start button triggers your basic instinct to survive. You must run to prevent falling to your death. When outdoors, however, not running (example: walking) has a greater likelihood of personal survival for the average, middle aged paper pusher like me (minus situations incorporating zombies or bears). Survival mode or not, I was there for a bona fide run.

Ninety feet into my run, each step is like a stampeding elephant. The jarring shock waves that should be shaking the trees aren’t because the shock waves have been corralled inside my skin. Every bone, joint, and muscle feels the 7,000 kg striking force in each step. I monitor my stride, foot placement, and cadence but there is no escaping the stomp of a stampeding elephant.

I remind myself that the first mile of the run is always the hardest. It’ll get better.

Now 600 yards into the run, I think if I were an original engine in a 41 year old Camaro, the mechanic would have already dove through the window to shut off the ignition to stop the devastating knocking that would surely cause the parts to seize shortly. Instead, I’m just a 41 year old runner, ah, former runner, trying to recapture a little of the glory from 8 years previous. Those knocks aren’t going to go away by stopping.

Finally, I run past a mile. It’s that moment, the 5280th foot when everything starts to run smooth. Yet, at 5281feet, this run still sucks.

It wasn’t until I’m in the neighborhood of 1.5 miles that the knocking is gone, the elephants stomped away and I enjoy running again.

Two minutes later, I’m out of time. I stopped running and walked home. Being out of time sucked the most.

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Block

I think I have writer’s block. I used to feel like I had lots to say. Now, whenever I get one thought in my head to say, it’s gone before a cohesive thought comes behind it. I’m just not inspired anymore.

Running used to inspire me to write. But, day after day, week after week, turning into month after month, I just didn’t run. I don’t have the inspiration to run anymore. I think I must have runner’s block.

Even after all this time of not running, the idea of runner’s block is an odd concept to me. How could I not want to run? I run half marathons for goodness sake. Yet, the days pass by but the miles don’t.

It’s time to resolve this Block. I think I read that if you have writer’s block you should write every single day. However, I can’t run every single day because I can’t risk an injury. I decree that I will run every other day until this Block is busted . I will write every single day even if it’s just one sentence until I can write “I want to run” and really mean it.

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Filed under exercise, minimalist shoes, running, Weight loss