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I am not a runner

After a lifetime of not-running, avoiding running, and complaining about the idea of running, I've run five 5Ks since June. (If you want great metaphors and inspirational posts about writing and running, there are other places to find those. This is not one of them.)

Truth is, I still don't consider myself "a runner." But I do run. Twice, hopefully three times a week, anywhere from 2.5-4 miles. I run with two friends. Sometimes we meet at a track, sometimes we meet in our neighborhoods (I hate those nights--pavement and hills. UGH). We started the Couch to 5K program back in March, and worked our way through the nine weeks to jogging success. As a goal-oriented, over-achieving type person, I sometimes find it frustrating I don't run particularly well. I gasp (often). I sweat (a lot). I walk (up big hills). But it is that goal-oriented, over-achieving type personality that keeps me out there--I mean, really, I can't let my friends go and be active while I'm sitting at home!

I don't run alone, I don't find it to be a meditation. I don't let the miles unfold under my feet as I work out plot problems or dream up character conflicts. Instead, my focus is totally self-directed: am I going to die (this is usually what I wonder for the first mile)? Is that tightness in my calf going to turn into a Charley horse and bring me to my knees (hasn't happened yet)? How far have we gone? When can we stop?

While we're running, my friend and I chat (she probably doesn't know that I'm doing big whiny-whines in my head. She does now). We catch up on our days, blow off steam about work and kids and 21st century life--I do my chatting and steam blowing in short puffs of coherent conversation, especially when we're really cranking--and we feel virtuous when we're done. At least we got out here, we say. We did that much.

Also, I enjoy having run, and having written, more than I enjoy those activities in the immediate present. The first mile is just terrible, as are my first drafts.

Huh. Writing analogy. There you go.

Despite my complaining, and my not-goodness at it, and not loving it--I am liking it. I like the social part. I like having accomplished something. I like having more energy, even on my most sleep-deprived days.  I like the feeling after, when I'm surprised at how far we've gone.

How far we've come.



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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
I hear you! Believe me, my "runner's high" consists of me swearing through the last three miles of a half-marathon... or the last few yards of a 5K... ;)
Nov. 8th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Lol--but you're up to a half marathon! That's SO awesome.
Oct. 26th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
Erin's running
you're awesome Erin :)
Nov. 8th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Erin's running
Thank you!!
Nov. 5th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC)
I am so behind on reading my LJ, but my experience is much the same. Except I've been a runner for 35 years. It sometimes is a real test of will to start, but I'm always glad I did it. Like writing.
Nov. 8th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks, April. It is a love-hate sort of thing, for sure. I'm impressed with your longevity of pounding the pavement!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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