If we are still on schedule, I am wrapping up a fabulous trip in Paris!
Today’s guest post is from Karen at Run Wright. Take it away, Karen!
Hi. I’m Karen and I’m a runner. I wasn’t always a runner. In fact, when I was a kid, I was diagnosed with a heart murmur and my pediatrician advised my parents that I shouldn’t participate in competitive sports. I wasn’t excused from playing sports in gym but the fear that I might overdo it and cause myself harm might have been enough to dampen any athletic ambitions I had. A few years ago I watched the New York City marathon and declared that I wanted to run it someday too. Lofty goal for someone who hadn’t run more than a few blocks at a time back then, but I started.
Over the course of the past 4 years, I started and stopped and started again. There were times I didn’t have time to run because I got up at 5 to get to work at 7 a.m. and I didn’t get home until it was dark. There were times I felt too fat to workout (contradictory, I know) and there were times I ran a little too fast too soon and injured myself and had to take a few steps back. But I always come back to running.
Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve felt my age creeping upwards and my body doesn’t do all the things it used to when I was in my teens and early twenties, back when I could eat candy and drink soda for breakfast with no repercussions. These days, if I overindulge in a meal, I feel my body lagging so I try to be kind to my body as I ask it to perform.
And I’m not through making performance requests. This year, I am planning to achieve my goal of running in the NYC marathon. I have a spot with a charity so I can raise funds for cancer research as I run to the finish line. But even with a marathon goal in mind, I am just enjoying the ability to run.
In April, I did a modified running streak where I ran 6 days and rested 1 day and after about 3 weeks, I felt the wear on my body like I was always running on tired legs. They says that’s supposed to be good for marathon training but it didn’t feel good at the time. Since completing the streak, I decided to take some time to just readjust and run when I want to, for as long as I want to. And it’s proven to be the best decision ever.
Yesterday, I ran 4.59 miles without planning to, just because it felt awesome to hear my running shoes pounding the pavement, feel my diaphragm expand and contract as I concentrated on taking deep breaths, feel the sweat bead on my face and neck and trickle down my shirt. Despite all the fancy tech running gear, and wicking shirts that I own, I wore a cotton T-shirt for the run. It was a shirt from the first century bike ride that I won a free entry for but didn’t run – it was the same day of a 10 mile race that I wanted to participate in more and although I regret not being able to do both events, this shirt reminds me of the choice I have to make sometimes in order to run.
Running might not always be convenient. I might have to make a sacrifice in order to run. I might not win medals or even be recognized for my effort. Running might not even help me lose weight because I eat the calories I burn trying to refuel for the next event. Running, itself might be free, but I could blow my budget on cool gear that makes me comfortable. Running requires sacrifice that might never be repaid.
But running is its own reward.
I don’t run because of something that I hope to get from someone else.
I run because a long time ago I couldn’t. And now I can.
Karen is a runner, writer and Engineer who lives in New York City. You can find her running or cycling in Central Park or on her laptop blogging about her latest adventure.