The end of the year and holidays always makes me look back on what I am most product of and grateful for. And it surprised me that “running” is coming up at the top of my list for 2011.
I am not really a runner. I’ve never felt runners high and it’s not what I pop out of bed wanting to do in the morning. It’s ironic since my most important FIRSTS this year have to do with running:
- My first 5K and 10K races with my 9 year old
- My first sub-2hr half-marathons
- My first marathon.
I think running started to grow on me because this year I’ve created run experiences for myself that have given me that feeling of gratitude that runners talk about. I like @Jillwillrun guest blog’s post on Marathon Winer’s blog about how to put the joy back into running, because the whole point of running in my opinion is to feel joy. (Ironic, since I don’t like to run. I know.) Gratitude is as addictive as joy….and very closely related.
As a non-runner I have had to search harder for that gratitude and joy, because my body doesn’t feel in naturally, but are the three things that have changed my view of running this year, and have made me grateful for what it bring me.
Run in Nature. Leave the pavement behind. Run barefoot on the sand at low tide or hit the trails. Even though I am not a runner, my favorite days this year have started out with my toes in the sand and a track that looks like this:
My birthday gift to myself was a long hilly hard trail run at dawn. Need I say more. Here is me – all forty-onederful years at the top of world in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Run at Night: I might be biased here because I live on the beach and have miles of paved boardwalk a block from my house. But nothing beats the still ness and the moonlight, and sometimes a little chill in the air.
Run with your Girlfriends: I woke up at 5:30 am and drove 30 minutes across town every Thursday this season to run up a hill 10x with this amazing a group of women. It was the workout that defined my week.
Some days I’ll run with a girlfriend that keeps that same pace and the miles seem to melt away. What I also discovered I love is running with my new runner girlfriend. I am not sure the right words to use to describe it, but it’s awesome. I know that because I am out there with her – either physically or cheering her on from the sidelines on text message – that she’s putting down miles that she wouldn’t be doing otherwise. She’s going to do her first half marathon in 2012 and accomplish something enormous (I remember mine – I was on top of the world for a week. Who had ever thunk it!). I can’t wait to cheer her on!
All of these things came together for me – along with my own HUGE first – at Rock n Roll Marathon in Las Vegas. Ok, it all of these things EXCEPT the barefoot/nature thing. That would have been gross. See my post here.
…maybe I’m a runner afterall?
PS: Don’t think I would write a run post without including an update to my Pinterest board of gratuitous shoe porn. http://bit.ly/biashoeporn