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On the run

August 14, 2013

I have mentioned a few times in previous posts that I have been doing some more running lately. It is still a relatively new thing for me, and I have been hesitant to say much about it for several reasons. For one thing, I have gone through plenty of phases in the past where I have gone running at least a couple of times per week for a few weeks or months and started to build up some endurance, followed by a relapse to only sporadic running. However, I have decided to share a bit about my recent running for a few reasons. First of all, one of the things I wanted to talk about when I refocused/renamed this blog was my attempts to fit exercise into my life, and it wouldn’t be realistic if I waited to share things until I was sure I would succeed at them. In addition, I have learned a few things about what seems to work/not work for me when it comes to exercise and I hope that by writing about it, I will have a reminder for myself, and that maybe something I have found useful will help someone else as well.

In addition, although it might seem like writing about my work-outs would be a good way to keep myself accountable (and for some people it might be) the primary reason I have actually held off on writing much about my running so far is that I don’t want running to become something I feel I have to do. I want to do it for myself rather than so that I can tell people about it. And I think this has been an important thing for me.

Anyway, let’s back up a bit….

I actually started 2013 with a resolution to run more, and I set myself a very ambitious goal of running 365 miles this year. I know that an average of a mile a day is nothing to some people, but I hadn’t been running at all leading up to 2013, so I knew that this was a goal which would require a consistent commitment throughout the year and which would be a real challenge for me. I will spare you the suspense and say right now that it is over halfway through the year and I am not halfway to my goal. But I’m not giving up yet. Lately, I am making more and more progress, and I am starting to have a bit of hope that I might make it to nearly 365. Whether I make it or not, however, one of the most important things for me has been realising that I may not reach this particular goal, but that I can still strive for it. As a bit of a perfectionist, it probably would have felt easier to me to change my goal rather than continuing to work toward something I didn’t think I could accomplish. But I think that having a very long-term goal has helped motivate me, and it has allowed me to keep working away at it and doing my best now in order to see how close I can get rather than just giving up or focusing on what I should have done earlier. Most importantly, it has got me out the door for a run or running on the treadmill many times when I would have otherwise sat on the couch.

I know that for some people, being a runner may mean running races or maybe even running a marathon, and I have often judged myself by those standards and avoided claiming to be in the ‘runner’ category. However, I am nowhere near the levels that some people are, and I probably never will be. For now, I am just enjoying running and starting to crave the challenge that running provides and the buzz that follows…  And, I have stopped caring so much about what other people’s standards might be. I am starting to feel like a runner. And that’s good enough for me.


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