I haven’t been running consistently in months. Maybe a 5K here and there. Which sounds kind of odd when you are a non-runner. Who can just go run a 5K? Isn’t there preparation, training, effort? Not when you’ve been doing it for as long as I have. I can just go run a 5K even if I haven’t run in weeks.
Truthfully, I’m not some kind of superhuman running machine. I totally suck at it. It’s just ingrained in my legs and lungs. They just know what to do. For now.
I went for a run yesterday for the first time in a long time, of my own free will, without being signed up for a race by my darling husband (you can refer to his influence on my running at an older blog post Running Etiquette). I went begrudgingly. I tried to find reasons NOT to go. I had almost reached the conclusion that running is dumb. A waste of time. Nothing really changes about my body. I never get any faster. It’s all an effort. And I hurt my hip last time. Why do I run, anyway? There’s yoga, the bicycle, going for a stroll, Zumba. Running is so pointless.
I had my tunes, my water bottles strapped to my waist. I had my sports bra (because I forgot it the day before and I’m not running without it!), my favorite socks, my new running shoes (to get me motivated). I had my new Fitbit AND my Garmin (is this all really necessary?). I drove to my favorite park with my favorite trails. Trail running is my favorite. And I just started. Again.
It wasn’t as easy this time. The hills grew over the winter. Like my waist-line. My lungs shrunk. Like my motivation. But my hip felt good. I ran a couple of miles and then called it quits for the day. There was no epiphany. I still might think that running is dumb tomorrow. But I’m going to do it again anyway. Because I can. Because I’m always telling people to eat better, exercise more, manage their stress, get more sleep. And I feel like a hypocrite when I’m not following my own advise.
And wouldn’t you know it, I saw two of my patients out there on the trail, exercising, too. We stopped and talked. I was a sweaty, smelly mess and the younger one pretty much told me so, “you need a shower Dr. V.” They were getting healthier just like I encouraged them, they told me. Isn’t that something? Maybe the message is getting through. Yeah, I’ll be back tomorrow.