Fair warning: This is not a political post in any way.
I’m literally talking about a bush that I pretend to be hoards of fans cheering me on while I run. And by run, I mean when I physically attempt to move my body at a faster rate than usual by putting one foot in front of the other.
I don’t like running all that much anymore. Getting back into shape sucks. And it’s all I can do to push myself to keep going on a very short and easy run that would take my former runner self absolutely no time and hardly work up a sweat doing.
Plus, I don’t listen to music, so I let my imagination run free.
And one of the things my imagination does is pretend that this unruly plant who’s branches stick out onto the sidewalk at one of the points in my run is actually a hoard of people cheering me on and holding out their hands to give hi-fives.
That’s all I really wanted to say.
It makes me feel both ridiculous and motivated. As all the best mind-tricks do.
So, yeah, no politics talk.
I don’t often like to get too much into my personal life here, but I am going to take a quick pause from my usual policy of “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE” to tell you something cool about my significant other.
Sometimes we actually go running together.
As some of you may know, I haven’t been competitively running for a long time. I changed my focus a while back to more weight training and whatnot. But we’re doing a little dual-motivation challenge with each other that’s making both of us hop back on the running horse. (Metaphorically, of course. He actually hates horses so this can only be a metaphor.)
It’s not easy to find a running partner in any capacity. I tend to like to run (and usually just workout) alone. And I still like to do that. But having someone else along for the jog is surprisingly nice. Especially when you genuinely enjoy that person’s company. And I genuinely enjoy his. Which makes my genuine frustration for getting back in shape ease up a little. And makes me look forward (even just a little bit) to going running. Because it means I get to hang around someone I enjoy being around. Even if we’re both doing something we both aren’t super excited about.
As nice as running can be for be for me at this point I guess.
Anyway, I could talk about it more but that already feels like an over-share for something I tend to stay very private about so I’m gonna go hide in the shade in the corner and wait until you forget all about this and we can all go back to staying quiet and not talking about my personal life because it’s “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE.”
I’ve talked a lot about running and lifting on this blog. If you don’t feel like getting totally caught up, here’s the story in a nutshell: I used to run a lot. Then I hurt myself. Now I lift a lot.
There. You’re basically caught up on two year’s worth of posts.
There is a part of me that misses running regularly. It won’t ever become my go-to exercise since I think I’m much more suited for the lifting lifestyle (and a much bigger fan of the results). But I find running to be extremely honest. If you run regularly, you will get better at it. If you haven’t run in a long time, you cannot fake being good at it. It will hurt. And you have to push yourself through the pain (but not too hard… otherwise you’ll end up with problems like me) over and over again until you get back in shape. And it’s humbling. And I like to be humbled.
But this year, I’m prepared. I’m of course going to continue my regularly scheduled gym routine (because I find it the most efficient and effective for me), but I’m also going to add back in little bits of running. Even if it’s just a mile here, a set of interval sprints there, ten minutes on the treadmill…whatever. And I’m prepared because I got a specialty running sock that supposedly helps when you’ve got a messed up club foot like I do.
It’s not a traditional club foot. I call it a club foot because it hurts like I’ve been standing in heels in da club for hours after ten minutes of running.
Anyhoo, I’m excited about it. And because I’m all about being reasonable this year, I think it’s a reasonable compromise between my present lifting self and my past runner.
Remember when I used to be able to run long distances? Me, too.
I remember in my head. My body doesn’t seem to recall that at all.
I’m trying to diversify my workout. I genuinely love running and haven’t been doing enough of it. And I need to get out and do more of it- whether it’s sprints or short or long distances. I live in a paradise. I need more excuses to both exercise and get outside. Running combines both of them beautifully.
I remember why I took a break from running and I’m ok with it. I like lifting. And I will always maintain that lifting and variations of lifting are a more effective and efficient way to get your body into better shape than any other form of exercise.
I just miss running. That’s all.
My body is out of running shape. I went for a run around my neighborhood this week. I didn’t go fast. I didn’t go far. But I did feel it.
I hurt. I had side stitches quickly (that I simply yelled at and pushed through). I was breathing really heavily. I know because people would turn to make sure I was ok. I took out a headphone to hear myself. It was like a person learning the accordion but not giving enough of a push to make the note come out fully so it just sounds pathetic.
Like I’ve said before, it’s not a matter of getting super slender. It’s just a matter of feeling strong. And when I run, I feel weak.
But I guess it’s always nice to have something to work on.
And based on the amount of chocolate I ate post-run, I’ll be working on it plenty over the next few months.
Hey you. You runner you. I’m super proud of you for getting out for a jog. I think it’s great you’re exercising your body. I bet you feel better about yourself right now. As well you should. It’s great to run. Running is fun. In fact, they should call it funning.
Not really because that’s a dumb word. But you get the point.
Now listen. I want you to listen very carefully when I tell you this next bit of advice. Are you listening? Ok. Good.
Here it is: Stop jogging in place on the corner while you wait to cross the street.
Did you read that? I hope so. I made it bold so you can really see it better.
Don’t do it. It’s a waste of your energy. By waiting a short amount of time for the light or traffic to yield you the right of way, you’re not going to lose any momentum from your run. By jumping up in down in place, you not only waste energy that could be better spent concentrating on a better running for but you also look real silly. And it’s not the kind of looking silly that might actually serve a purpose. It’s the kind of looking silly that doesn’t serve one.
You’re not burning significantly more calories. You’re heart rate is not going to plummet so much in the short period of time you’ve stopped running to lose any of the benefits running allows it. If anything, it’d be better for your heart to change up the pacing of your run so you can challenge it to get even stronger.
I have a personal policy that when I see someone out for a run, I say a quiet, “Good for them” to myself. I like to pump people up. I’ve been the beneficiary of strangers giving encouragement, so I want to do that for others.
But when I see a running hopping up and down on a street corner waiting for a light to change, I can’t bring myself to encourage it. It makes me sad.
So stop making me sad. Stop hopping in place and pretending you’re continuing the jog just vertically. You’re not. You look like a silly amateur. Take the time to breathe deeply, catch your breath, maybe stretch a little, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the run you might otherwise be missing as you’re on the go.