This fall marks the third anniversary of getting back into running after many years of doing zero physical activity. Speed-wise I’m about to where I was my sophomore year of high school. And I was not a superstar runner in high school.
I now own an embarrassing amount of running gear. The bulk of my laundry is running clothes. And I even will wear those a few times in a row (nasty, I know, but we do live in a very dry climate and sweating is pretty minimal).
My shoes were on their last legs, and I just went to the running store and got an updated version of the same shoes I’ve worn since high school. For the first time ever, I felt like a pretty legit runner. My weekly mileage is by no means elite, but it was enough to elicit a murmur of respect from the salesperson at the store. And the competitor in me felt very superior until the ultra-marathoner walked in after me.
I love the feeling of knowing that I’ll be able to complete a run. When I was training for my first half marathon, I used to start off on long runs unsure if I’d actually be able to complete the run. Now it may not look pretty or feel good, but I know I’ll be able to get it done. This past Saturday I was cussing the heat the entire time. And I had to give myself a pep talk since I needed to finish my run by running the last 4 miles at a faster pace than my first 4. I believe I may have muttered out loud, “You’re gonna have to fight for it, girl.” I do my best high school football coach impressions during long runs.
And maybe the whole reason I keep doing this thing is to listen to wonderful podcasts and audiobooks on my phone while I run. My current favorite is the podcast On Being hosted by Krista Tippetts. Her guests are usually experts in their field but the conversations generally lean toward the philosophical and theological side of life. One of my favorites is her conversation with Jean Vanier. He’s the founder of the L’Arche communities. The love he feels for the mentally disabled and the dignity he has been able to restore to so many lives (mentally disabled and “normal”) is wondrous. And probably the topic for another blog post. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m loving The Right Reasons podcast put out by Grantland. It’s all about reality TV shows I will never watch. Important clarification: I don’t watch them because there’s just not enough time in a day not because I disapprove of them (although I should).
So that’s it. I don’t know if I’ll be running forever. But now that it’s been a couple of years, it feels like something that would be hard to quit. But never say never. I could get super into biking. Compression shorts are probably the gateway drug into cycling.