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Becoming A Runner*

Becoming a Runner*?

Second Arrow Definitions

Runner*: a person who moves at a slightly faster pace than a brisk walk

By May 2020 we were all experiencing both quarantine and working from home as we watched the world begin to suffer from a devastating pandemic. Living in a sunny Arizona suburb proved helpful to stay active and occupied as I could still wander freely through my neighborhood without terrible fear as compared to the life of my brother at the same time living in New York City who on his jogs masked up navigating carefully to avoid others on the busy city streets of NYC.

I wrote a blog setting a goal to jog 4 times a week for a 4 mile total each run. My husband shared this cartoon with me today to remind you of my love of running and of my skills:

That July I logged 54 miles on my Nike Run Keeper – more mileage than I have recorded in twenty years for one month. Then, as the summer turned to fall, so did my attention from self-care shift to caring for others as school came back in session in August. My mileage fell to a mediocre 20 miles recorded in August and 15 for September. And like the rolling of the tide, my self-care goals seemed to come and go.

When we had our fall break, I laced back up and was able to record a solid 26 miles making me feel new focus and a can do attitude hitting 20 miles for the month of November, but still failing to recreate the running spirit of the summer for which helped me hit the pavement for over 50 miles.

As a person who loves New Year’s Resolutions, even the failures, I spent hours considering of what my goals should consist. Here is what I ended on for January 1st, 2021.

  • Eat healthily. Clean eating is a focus, but also not to a point of deprivation.
  • Ensure that fitness is a priority – calendaring my fitness plan each week. (I do work for a company called Teacher FIT…so I guess I should you know, attempt to be fit).
    • Run twice a week (a minimum of a 5K)
    • 3 HIIT/Stength Workouts with Teacher Fit a week
    • Yoga one day a week – also with Teacher Fit
    • And an activity of choice on Sundays
  • And to live with ease. Nick asked, what does that mean? I explained that I am often very hard on myself…disappoint myself and have outrageously high expectations. I believe my self-criticism has been a quality to help me achieve, but it is also dangerously damaging. Frankly, it’s tiring. So, I will live with ease this year but still get more stuff done that the average Betty.

And so you can imagine when January 5th came to complete my less than favorite activity of running rolled around, and my energy level was low, the activity was skipped. But, something new happened to me. Something different. Something I have never felt before in my life. I longed for a run. I actually missed the activity and not due to self-loathing behaviors, but actually due to missing the enjoyment the activity brought me.

My body felt a need to move. I had an urge to expend energy. I had thoughts like, “it’s really not that hard.” I was compelled to hit the road. And so today, January 9th, on my Saturday morning, I woke and without thought or effort, laced up and pounded the pavement.

This 2021, I altered my course only slightly to record a 5K instead of 4 miles. It’s mentally good because 5 is a bigger number than 4 even though it is a shorter distance; one of my many motivational Jedi mind-tricks. But I found that as I cut about half a mile really from my regular 4 mile route, the 6 months of 4 mile jogs have helped me reach this point. Those months, even though I wasn’t reaching my goals, were still moving me in the right direction. As we say at Teacher Fit, progress not perfection. And so all that time served me well in cutting about a minute off my pace today while I still recorded 3.59 miles.

I highly doubt that next week my Tuesday run will be skipped. I feel that my body craves the activity, to be physical, to move, to expend energy. My body wants to feel a little pain and strain. My body wants to sweat. And I felt good after. And more so, I felt happy. Does this mean I have become a runner*? Maybe….just maybe. Check out your window, pig may also be flying.

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