Getting back into running has been a real struggle for me. I struggle every late fall to early spring, but it’s been especially rough this year. I just haven’t felt like running. In fact, I’ve felt like doing everything except for running! I just haven’t had the desire, you guys. I have been doing so many fun workouts and getting into great shape without running. Frankly, I haven’t even missed it.
And that’s what makes me a little sad.
I was really loving running for a while there. I was running a race every month — sometimes twice a month — I was designing my own medal rack, I was beating my PR and reading running books, but then I just stopped. It’s hard for me to think back to when exactly I stopped running, but I think it must’ve been around this time last year.
You’d think that, because I haven’t been able to do yoga (which I was practicing a lot before the doctor told me I couldn’t), I’d fill that void with running. It used to really clear my head and help deal with stress. But, nah. It hasn’t worked out that way.
Recently, I started running again. I think that was mainly because I have a 10 miler coming up in a week, and I realized that I had not done any miles, plural, in… well, I didn’t know how long. Regardless, I started again, and I remembered why I liked it so much! It felt great to breathe in the fresh air, do a little bit of exploring, and spot some animals along my route.
Sometimes I feel like Snow White or Dr. Doolittle with all of the animals in my neighborhood. They’re pretty chill, and usually just stay put when I pass by. I’m way more interested in them than they are in me! (Side note: After I was done taking a picture of this sassy goose, I may or may not have run into a bunch of branches. That person you see in the distance may have witnessed this and side eyed me just like the goose…)
When the weather has been warm enough for me the last couple of weeks, I have gone for some runs. And you know what? They’ve gone surprisingly well! I am a back-of-the-pack runner, as I’ve mentioned on here before, and even despite the fact that I haven’t regularly run in what seems like forever, I ran much faster than my last pace! So… victory is mine, basically.
Another thing about running that I forgot I liked? RUNNING AT NIGHT. Man, something about the night air just does it for me. Plus, I’m an insomniac, and I feel like if I ran around 7 or 8 p.m. each evening, I would pass out around 9:30. Running definitely helps me sleep, and running at night helps me block out all the thoughts bouncing around in my head that stress me out and keep me from sleeping. I actually wish I could do it more often.
A few days ago, I went on my first night run of 2018. It was great! I started out my run around sunset, and ended when it was totally dark out. I had packed my new Night Trek 270 Shoe Lights in my running belt, and when the sun finally started to set, I hooked them up to my running shoes and had my own personal rave the rest of the way home.
I wish I had these when I went on my first ever camping trip. I was such a wuss at night, and was worried I was going to step on a snake or a bear (I know) the couple of nights we were out in the woods. They also would’ve been great for those two relay races I did a couple of years ago. When it comes to running at night, I can never have enough illumination! (Again, I’m a wuss. But… I’m also criminally clumsy.)
Upon reflection, I’m actually pretty excited about running again. I’m sad that I won’t be able to play volleyball while recovering from shoulder surgery. Like, really, really, really sad. BUT, I’m glad that I have an activity like running to look forward too once I’ve recovered enough. With running, I can still set goals and clear my head and train for something, and that will help fill the void that the absence of both yoga and volleyball will leave in the upcoming months.
I’m sorry I abandoned you over the last year, running. It’s not you, it’s me. Don’t hate me.
Disclosure: I was gifted a pair of Night Trek 270 Shoe Lights. All thoughts contained in this post are my own.
What’s your relationship with running? If you couldn’t participate in your favorite fitness activity, what would you do instead? Do you interact with wild animals in your neighborhood?