This week I started my new part-time job and my internship. My week started with some car troubles due to bitter cold temperatures but improved as the week progressed. I took two consecutive days off from running and only was able to reach a 19.5 mile week (and over half of these miles were ran on Saturday and Sunday). This low number frightens me but I need to recognize that this was a crazy, hectic, and exhausting week. I need to accept the fact that this was a rough week of training. Between my internship and new job I had four consecutive 13 hour days in which I was out of my house from 7:30AM until 8:30PM. I was eating dinner at 9 o’clock at night and I barely had the energy to even do a 10-minute core workout. I didn’t run on Monday or Tuesday due to car troubles and my new schedule. Thursday morning I ran at 6AM. I was anxious to get to the weekend to log some miles even though a blizzard was about to drop over a foot of snow on my house.
Although I am disappointed I didn’t get to run on Monday or Tuesday I am accepting that these days were rest days. I know a lot of runners who believe in “run streaks” and training 7 days per week, 365 days per year. I am not one of these runners. I know runners who are okay with logging miles on the treadmill. I am not one of these runners either. I know runners who are ok with trudging through a foot of snow for 12 miles just to get in their modified long run. I am not one of these runners.
I enjoyed my Saturday and Sunday run even though I was running on a trail with over 12 inches of snow on it. I got to see beautiful snow-covered trees and picturesque white fields. I got to spend time outside and got a good workout from adjusting and readjusting my stride with every step. I love a good challenge and this weekend’s runs definitely worked muscles I never even knew I had.
I would like to say I am okay with only logging 19.5 miles this week. I’m not okay with but I have to accept it. I can’t reverse time and go back and run 5 miles last Monday. I must only focus on the present and the future. It’s okay to take a rest day when your car doesn’t cooperate. It’s okay to take a rest day if there’s 12 inches of snow on the ground and you can’t get in your scheduled long run. There’s always tomorrow or the next day or the next. It’s okay to take a rest day and it’s okay to modify whatever training plan you’re following.
After a crazy week of new beginnings, I’ve become more appreciative of every run I am able to go on. Somedays my schedule literally only allots 30 minutes of running time. And for those 30 minutes, I appreciate the run. I’m grateful for those 30 minutes where I can do something I love to do. It’s okay to take a break from running when life gets too overwhelming. But next time you get out on the trails or the snow-covered sidewalk, don’t forget to be grateful for the run – every mile is a gift.
Happy National Running Day, everyone! I hope everyone gets to celebrate no matter where you live while reading this blog! If you already ran today, I hope that you enjoyed your run no matter how fast or slow or hilly or flat or hot or cold or rainy it was. You ran which means that you celebrated National Running Day! If you HAVEN’T ran yet, stop reading this post right now. Turn off your computer or (gently) toss your phone across the room so you can’t look at it for the next 30 minutes (minimum!). Change into some running clothes. Lace up your shoes. Find your GPS signal. And start running. Don’t continue reading this blog post until you run at least 3 miles. It’s probably no more than 30 minutes out of your day – I think you have time to squeeze a run in to celebrate today.
So for those of you who have already celebrated in typical runner’s fashion, I would like to share with you some reasons I love running. People often ask me “why do you run? Don’t you get bored?”….BORED?! I’m the farthest thing from bored when I go for a run. If you’re bored while you’re running you’re probably doing it wrong…. so here’s some of my reasons I love to run:
Running is my stress-reliever. After a run I feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer the day. On the days I don’t run, I oftentimes feel more stressed and uptight. No matter the speed, running always makes me happier!
Running has provided me with countless friendships. The running community is my irreplaceable network of runner friends who all share a common love – a love for running. I have met so many people through running and my life would be completely different without them. Some runner friends I have known for years (thanks to long runs and xc/track meets we know A LOT about each other – after all, long runs are meant for rants and gossip!). Other runner friends I met a few months ago. But we all share a common interest so it’s easy to make new friends and expand each others’ network. Runners understand each other so we’re not grossed out by sweaty hugs or handshakes and we can encourage each other to become the best runners we can be.
Running in earth’s elements makes me a stronger person. Rain, snow, wind, summer storms, and scorching temperatures? Bring. It. On. When you let the things you can’t control control your life, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and maybe even failure. For instance, say that it’s downpouring on race day and for the past few months of your training every time it rained you opted to run on the treadmill instead. Are you prepared for running in this weather? Probably not. Are you going to do decently in your race? Probably not. I’m a stronger person because of my determination to succeed in running and in life. I’m not going to let something I can’t control stand in my way of my goals. So next time an obstacle gets in your way, don’t back down. Be in control.
Running keeps me healthy. I’m always entertained when I go to the doctor’s office and the nurse has to take my blood pressure twice because she thinks she did something wrong. She didn’t do it wrong. She just doesn’t realize that I am a runner – I’m healthier than her average patient. I’m not trying to brag or sound stuck up but running has a way of making people healthier. Exercise is medicine. It’s just going to take our country longer than it should to realize it.
Running showed me things I never thought I’d see. I’ve ran on too many trails to count. I’ve ran on vacations we’ve taken – mountains, islands, small towns. I’ve seen sunrises on runs. I’ve seen sunsets on runs. I’ve ran in the dark. I’ve ran up access roads on ski mountains. I’ve ran hills that have been named (hills with names are bad news!). I’ve seen animals cross my path on runs. I’ve ran in blizzards and came back with ice covering my eyelashes. I’ve be splashed with a puddle by a passing car. And there’s far too many other times to list.
Running has brought me happiness and sadness. I would be lying if I said running never made me cry. I would also be lying if I said running never made me happy. I am proud to talk about the good and the bad runs. Bad running experiences made me a stronger and more determined runner; therefore, they were life lessons. Good runs made me appreciate the power of running and how important running is in my life. Running puts things into perspective. Without the good and the bad in the running or non-running world, how would we be determined to make things better or to try harder to succeed? As long as there’s a balance between happiness and sadness (with preferably more happiness), you’re doing it right.
Running has inspired me to work hard. My dad always says that good things come to those who work for it. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not a naturally talented runner and never will be. I work hard to be the best runner I can be. In life, I work hard to be the best person, friend, daughter, sister, worker, and student I can be. I can’t just sit around and wait for good things to happen. I don’t want other people to hand me a job or money or success. I want to earn all the good things my life has to offer. I want to be the best person I can be by working hard and achieving my goals.
And so I leave you today, on National Running Day, with those words. I hope you have celebrated with a run. Get outside and enjoy what the world has to offer to you today. And here’s one last quote (one of my personal favorites) to inspire you on this beautiful day: “Run often and run long. Just never outrun your joy of running”