“Are you running tonight?”

My coworker asked me that question while we were in the breakroom this morning fixing our coffee (a splash of Silk vanilla “creamer” and two straws for me!). “Yeah, of course,” I replied. “Are you?”

I’ve been thinking about that exchange ever since, and I realized that it symbolized something for me: running is part of my lifestyle now.

I never thought I’d say that. Never.

I still feel the urge to preface all of this by reminding you that I’m not fast and I can’t run for very long, but even that urge is subsiding; I don’t really need to explain myself, do I? Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty single-mindedly focused on running. It’s not the only cardio I’ve been doing, but I’ve certainly done fewer elliptical workouts, and I haven’t been to a spinning class in weeks, just to name a few examples. I’m telling myself that it’s just until Bloomsday and then I’ll add in some more variety, but… I’m not even that tired of it. I’m not bored. I kind of want to run all the time.

Things I’ve noticed about myself vis-a-vis running in the past few weeks:

  • I’ve been trying to focus more on the formal elements of running, like my posture, breathing, etc. In the past it’s been difficult for me to work on this stuff because running was so challenging physically that I simply had to focus on finishing. But now that I can jog without my heart rate going through the roof, it’s nice to be able to improve my technique (or at least try).
  • I like noticing how outside factors affect my run, like weather, or how much water I’ve had that day, or what music I’m listening to. It makes me want to seek out the perfect conditions and see what my performance would be like!
  • Last week was the first week I measured my running in distance, which Trainer B. jokingly told me was what would make me a “real runner.” I clocked around 18 miles from Tuesday the 14th to Tuesday the 21st, and only a mile or two of that was walking.
  • I did my first “yoga for runners” stretching session, on Monday evening after my 5-mile. My hamstrings are tight but I can feel them getting stronger.

I don’t want to get too cheesy here, but I’m just so happy that getting in better shape has opened the door to new experiences like this for me. To really enjoy something (that’s good for me) that I never enjoyed before because it was too hard… well that feels great.

(For the record, I have the shoes in the picture above! Gotta love the Brooks Adrenaline.)


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