I don’t run often … but when I do, I’m reminded of why I enjoy it and why I should be incorporating it into my workout mix.
I started really enjoying running in high school. Each day at the start of cheerleading practice, we would run a mile and a half before getting down to business: dancing, stunting, weight lifting, etc. I joined the track team (why, I have no clue — I was a sucky runner) sophomore year and ran the 800. I was terrible — coming in dead last in all but one race throughout my high school career–but I ran nonetheless. I ran during hot summer mornings, cold winter nights … I ran, and ran, and ran.
Freshman year of college, in spite of eating three meals a day in the university’s awesome dining hall (no, not being sarcastic– American’s dining hall was pretty amazing!), I didn’t gain the Freshman 15. In fact, I probably lost 5-10 pounds that first semester, without even trying. Walking everywhere and running on occasion were my saving graces. My runs were sporadic, but they became a way for me to explore my new neighborhood in upper Northwest Washington, D.C. I’d run alone — after class but before dinner with my friends. It was my quiet time, my solitude. Then I began running with a friend, who became my best friend, who went on to become my boyfriend, who then broke my heart … all within a few months’ time. When we split up, I’d run the streets I used to run with him … but burst into tears.
Running lost its luster.
Fast-forward a couple years … I met Luis my senior year of college through mutual friends, and falling in love with him helped me FINALLY (three years later …) get over my ex! Because he was a student at the Naval Academy and didn’t have the freedom a normal college guy would have, though we both worked out on our own (him more than me at this point), the time we did have wasn’t usually spent working out. Instead, we’d do normal couple things: dinners out, walks, movies, cooking, hanging out with friends. Sometimes, though, we’d run. And I loved it. He’d push me to run further, faster — but yet stayed by my side for the most part when we run together. Because we both enjoyed a challenge, we work well together as motivators.
When we got married and moved here to Michigan, we bought a house just off a running/bike trail. Though we don’t get out there as often as we’d like, we have definitely had some great runs here. But now with Maya and Rocco, it’s easier to walk or bike so we can go all together.
Lately I’ve been feeling lazy on my “off” Zumba days, and I’ve been itching to run, especially since my last trip to Chicago, where I did a sunrise run along the lake shore. I’ve had every excuse in the book: it’s too cold, it’s too dark, it’s too windy …
A couple months ago, I bought a pair of lululemon running tights (which double as leggings) called Runder Unders, with the hopes that I’d get back into running. Til today, I’d only been wearing these soft, cozy tights as leggings. I’d worn them to work (with this fabulous Target tunic in black that I am obsessed with) and decided it was time to finally break them in for their intended use.
After our family walk tonight, I asked Luis to take Maya and Rocco back inside so I could go for a quick run … and it was heavenly. I surprised myself at my pace — I wasn’t recording it but I can tell, I was moving quickly for me 🙂 I only ran for 20 minutes, but it was 20 GOOD, solid minutes. I felt stronger and leaner with each stride. Yes, I realize that sounds nuts, but it’s true.
And for the record — if anyone is in the market for a great pair of running tights that will last forever, the Runder Unders were amazing — they kept me warm and toasty on my run and moonlight as super-cute leggings with boots. How’s that for doing double-duty?
I can’t promise you I will wake up on my “off” Zumba days and run (or after work) … but I am going to make a concerted effort to run when I can. I forgot how great it feels to pound the pavement.
I’m glad for tonight’s chilly, windy reminder.
How about you? Are you a runner? Has your relationship with running been a fair-weathered one like mine?