Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Running Without Being Chased

Something really strange happened to me a few weeks ago. During a morning cardio walk, I began running. Yes, RUNNING. And no one was chasing me. It was so. weird.

When people ask me what kind of cardio I do, they usually assume, "oh, you just run on the treadmill?" Uh no. I WALK on the treadmill. My standard response is usually, "I don't run unless someone is chasing me. I'm NOT a runner."

And then oddly enough, one day I began running.

Actually, let me correct that; I began s-l-o-w-l-y jogging. It was more of a stop-and-start endeavor until I settled into a rhythm.

I was at a retreat center in the middle of the woods along the Chesapeake Bay, and instead of fighting with the ancient cardio machines they had in their "fitness center," I decided to go for a walk around the property. But this scene urged me to run.

Stillness and solitude
I felt like walking would take me too long to reach the next beautiful scene, so my feet began a jogging cadence. My knees protested loudly, but I ignored them and kept going. I slowed to a walk a few times, then slipped back into a jog.

I was baffled! The entire time, I was in a state of wonder at what my body was doing. I couldn't remember the last time I'd jogged; it had to have been at least a year ago! Yet there I was, completely enjoying myself while jogging.

I felt refreshed and exuberant when I got back to my room. I felt reconnected to my younger days when I ran every day. I felt like an athlete again.

Two hours later, I was bored and decided to go for ANOTHER run. What in the world?! It felt like an alternate universe, yet oddly exactly right.

The next day I could barely walk and I had horrible shin splints. (Is there punishment for every enjoyable thing in life?!)

Two days later, back at home, I went for a run in our neighborhood. We live in the world's cutest little town, so I love walking or running around the narrow side streets and admiring all the old, stately homes.

Since the beginning of September, I've run a handful of times, getting faster each time. I now have a goal of increasing my speed back to where it used to be several years ago. It's not fast by any comparison, but it's appropriate for me. I love feeling like an athlete again. I compare the feeling to that of the tin soldier after he gets all oiled and shined up again.

I doubt I'll ever be a true runner (and quite frankly, I don't actually WANT to be), but for now, I'm enjoying my periodic half hour runs and the opportunities to feel like the athlete I am at my core.

Are you a runner? How do you feel during and after a run?


  1. I love the way this post was written! I run (ok jog) but I'm definitely not a runner and like you, I don't want to be. I do get the runner's high and I love it.

  2. Lol I can definitely relate to this (as I find myself thinking very often when I read your posts)! I have always despised running (and still do) but about 3 months ago I started making myself run on the treadmill for 30 mins on the weekend. I still ALWAYS hate it about 10 mins in when my knees are burning, but once I hit that 30 min mark, I feel VERY accomplished!! It's weird how trying something you used to hate can end up being quite enjoyable sometimes. We humans are ever-evolving :) haha

  3. Living in DC has gotten me into it as well. I think Ill be sore tomorrow though. :-( Nice to know im not the only non runner who LOVES morning cardio walks!