And I Ran

While at the gym on Thursday, I overheard someone say that the Saturday classes were going to be cancelled. I was disappointed. I’ve fallen into a good workout routine and I especially love the Body Works class. It’s a nice mix of weight training with some cardio thrown in, not to mention the abs. I hate doing abs and can’t be counted on to work on them on my own. I go to Body Works several times a week and always on Saturdays.

So I awoke early on Saturday debating what to do. I wanted to do something to stay in routine. It’s too easy to get lazy. I looked out the windows and the sky was overcast with a good promise of rain. I decided I was willing to risk it.

There are a handful of people I know who are runners. And these same people regularly ask me if I’m still running. My answer is always the same. “I gave it up. There’s just not a runner inside of me.”

I’m not sure why, but this answer never sits well with my runner friends. It’s as if they think they know something about me that I don’t. But I know it. I tried to be a runner for more than a year and I was just really bad at it. I just couldn’t seem to develop the stamina to run a good run. Ever. Eventually I admitted defeat and accepted the fact that I am not a runner. I’m at peace with it for the most part, except for an occasional nagging little feeling that as bad as I am at running, I still might like to do it. And this is the feeling that overtook me as I stepped outside for a “walk” yesterday morning.

I did start out walking, but after about two blocks, without much conscious thought, I began to run.

And I ran. I told myself to just go as far as I could go. No expectations. It was peaceful outside except for the occasional car passing. There’s been enough rain recently to make the grass thick and lush. Trees are getting full with leaves. Lilac bushes are blooming and fragrant! I locked eyes with a rabbit as he watched me pass him by. I kept putting one foot in front of the other.  I slowed to a walk only a couple of times, but picked right back up again soon after. I ran the last mile for sure without stopping to walk.

Time flew by, not dragging like it used to when I was trying to learn to be a runner. I found my pace, albeit a slow one. I was running. I recognized that I was in a good sort of place in my head and I was careful to stay in it.

When I got back home, I saw that I’d only gone just over two and a half miles. But I think I ran more solidly than I ever did before. And two and a half miles isn’t bad for someone who hasn’t really run for more than a year. Maybe the fitness classes have helped. True, I’m stronger because of them, but bigger than that, I think it’s a psychological thing. Those classes have helped me believe I can do this stuff. I can get stronger. I can push myself. Maybe there is a runner inside of me after all.

17 thoughts on “And I Ran

  1. I applaud your efforts. Not everyone is wired to run. You have find your own reasons and your own exercise/sport to enjoy. I suck at golf, cannot play tennis, swim like an old dog, and am downright lousy at hoops. I prefer running because I can be alone with my thoughts and the road. That said, I’m like you – I lack the motivation to be a serious runner like a few others. I haven’t been religious on doing regular runs of late, allowing work to dictate my schedule. To me, anytime you can get outside and go for a run/walk is good. Sometimes, all the motivation you need is to lace up the shoes and head out the front door.


  2. Crucial not to break that routine. If the particular activity cannot be done for what ever reason do an alternate exercise is the best advice I have to give myself. If I break the routine it takes weeks to get back to self discipline.


  3. I say, do it if you enjoy it. Workout, run, walk, bike, whatever you enjoy most. If you like a little of each, variety is always good too. Why label yourself one thing or the other? JMO. BTW, I’d love to have the stamina to go 2 1/2 miles. I think you did a great job.


  4. Woot woot! You go, girl! 2.5 miles is NOTHING shabby AT ALL! Great job!

    And thank you sooooooooo very much for leaving A Flock of Seagulls in my head now, haha.


  5. How strange that the gym would discontinue Saturday classes. Seems that would be one of the most popular days to have them. Glad you got in a run, though. Good for you, my friend.


  6. Lately, I’ve been thinking that I’m losing my “runner” persona. The past month or more, I’ve had so many 6am shifts, that I get maybe 2 runs in a week. (I’m an early morning runner, but not 2am early….) Perhaps I’ll just pass the torch off to you, and you can take over now. And as long as we’re passing off activities – you can take over my bowling obsession as well. Anything you would like me to start doing for you?


    • It’s a bit early for me to commit to becoming a true runner, but I’ll try! And I’ve got no problem with the bowling obsession.

      I seem to be slacking on my photography. Wanna take over that hobby for me?


      • Hmmm… if you’ve seen some of my cupcake pictures, you probably can tell I’m not much of a photographer. Then again, if you’re willing to run for me, I suppose I can try it. :)


  7. Hey, welcome back?! Maybe you were just over-thinking it before… being your own worst critic. It’s inevitable that some runs will be better than others, and I think running is as much mental as it is physical.

    Weird that your gym cancelled their saturday classes, we’re you showing up the instructors??


    • Maybe you’re right. I think I was failing the mental part of running before. Of course it remains to be seen if I can continue to feel as successful or even if I make a habit of running again!

      The Saturday classes were only cancelled for the day. They’ll be back to normal next weekend.


  8. Great job on the running! Made me jealous though with your comments about the flowers blooming and such. We had a terrible time finding flowers to put on the tables at our dinner at church yesterday -thanks to the period about 2 weeks ago with cold temps, frost and yes, SNOW! Killed off most of the blossoms on just about everything that was starting to bloom -or getting ready and would have been in fine shape this weekend if not for the cold! We did find some lilacs not too damaged, some pretty rose-lavender shaded azaleas and a little bit of dogwood for accent though but it was a tough job to find that!


  9. I don’t think there is anything of particular intrinsic higher value of one form of exercise over another. The important think is to be doing something continually over your life. But i agree with those above who said you put too much pressure and expectations on yourself. It is pretty well documented that the competitive, always push yourself harder attitude starts getting counter productive as we get older.


  10. Yay! The runner is returning! :) I think that’s a great way to start back into it…no expectations, just go out and run until you don’t want to anymore.


  11. I wish I could run – I was a runner in high school You’ve got the legs to do it, and to go for miles! Way to go Terri, I applaud your determination to stay in shape (not that you need to), but I know you feel better and energized, and with your schedule, you need to be in top shape!


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