Last weekend, I finally realized why and how I became a runner. I haven’t done much running all winter, but as soon as a nice day rolled around, I was out there again! And I think I finally realized why I find running so appealing despite the fact that I’m not athletic!
Here are things I already knew:
- I’m pale… like blindingly pale. I shed tears of joy the first time I saw SPF 90 for sale in the grocery store (I know, everyone tells me that anything over SPF 30 doesn’t do anything more than SPF 30, and that may be true for normal people, but SPF 90 totally rocks when you’re clinically pale!) I have never had a tan in my entire life… but I’m pretty familiar with sunburns! I’m that person on the beach wrapped in sheet for protection. Yep, that’s me, nerd city, sitting next to my friends with ancestors from closer to the equator, and they are tanning and enjoying the sun. Meanwhile, I’m usually afraid I smell like bacon: roasting, sizzling, and scorching. My point? You will never see me just laying in the sun…
Do you hear a choir of angels singing? I do!
- I don’t like to garden. Dirt under my nails just makes me unhappy. Plus, I chronically kill house plants. Luckily, my wonderful boyfriend is a total green thumb and rescues plants from me. Example: one year a sweet co-worker bought me a little poinsettia… on my desk, all the leaves fell off. I brought it home, and now, years later, it’s a ginormous bush thanks to T.
- I’m not really outdoorsy –
- Or coordinated! (team sports have never been a shining activity for me)
But last summer, I really wanted to find a way to enjoy being outside… and somehow running/walking came to mind. I live near a lovely running path… and I own sneakers…
And that’s how I found running. And really, I think I enjoy running because it’s a chance for me to be outdoors and in the shade! And I can run past bugs instead of being swarmed/bothered by them.
The weather in New England was crazy (unseasonably) nice last week and I got to run outside again. You may have noticed, if you’re a regular reader, that I’m not a serious runner. I don’t focus much on becoming a better runner, I just go out for the fun of being outside. I don’t own a fancy watch, in fact I don’t run with a watch at all. I don’t do intervals or focus on training (but I slightly envy people who do), I’ll occasionally do fartleks though (which means “speed play” in Swedish, and always makes me giggle like a second grade boy)… which just means I’ll run faster over the bridges because it seems like a good idea and I run by the Charles River so there are lots of little bridges over squishy terrain. I have never thought much about serious races. I will never be a marathon runner, in fact, I have never even thought a half marathon was in my future.
But I went out on Sunday with hours left of sunlight to just do what I felt like. The first 2 miles were rough, so I walked 1/4 of a mile afterwards, and the running after that felt much better, more natural. And I just kept going… I came home and mapped my walk. The first map said it was 13.25 miles! I wasn’t sure if I believed it, so I mapped it again. The second time said 10.4. Now I don’t know which to believe, but I’m still proud of myself. I’d like to think I ran a half marathon purely to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, but to be on the safe side, I think I should stick with the 10.4. Either way, I’m super proud of myself. I may be slow, but it turns out that I’m willing to at least “go the distance!”
Sadly though, because the leaves haven’t filled in yet, my face was rocking a pretty sweet sunburn (within the first mile). But, I had just bought a bunch of new songs on iTunes to add to my running playlist! My running playlist is now up to 2 1/2 hours and I listened to the entire list! I’m pretty psyched about those new songs!
I can’t wait for summer running!
A lovely thought, but my path is MUCH more tree-laden.