It’s been a long, cold, wet winter. I heard today that there have only been five days of sunshine so far this entire year, and I’ve got to tell you that I’ve really been feeling it. Last year I ran outside pretty much the entire winter; but this year, well, it’s been rough.
Last night I told myself that I was going to get in a quick run before my mid-day appointment today. I prepared myself for the fact that it might be a bit rainy or gray, but told myself that I was going to get out there and run anyway. As soon as my eyes opened, I heard the sound of the rain on the roof of the house. It wasn’t a pitter patter — the rain was literally pounding the shingles as it came down in torrents. The motivation that I had felt the night before slowly slipped away. I got out of bed and began to get ready for the day but was overcome with disappointment. I knew that due to my schedule, if I didn’t get a run in this morning, I wouldn’t have another chance for several days.
What motivates you to run? Most of the time I just plain enjoy running, so that’s motivation enough. But there are times that I need more than that. Some days my schedule has more items on it than can fit into the hours of the day, or maybe I’m just plain tired. Sometimes I go through a rough period when I’m just not feeling it, or I’m in the midst of a long, wet winter. That’s when I need to have something to get me out the door to log some miles.
I have found that it really keeps me motivated to run when I have an upcoming running event on my calendar. If you’ve never participated in a formal running event, you should really try it. I probably never would have signed up for one myself except that when I first began to run, my health insurance offered reimbursement for participation in an event. I certainly wasn’t trying to compete for a medal, but I figured that since it wasn’t going to cost me anything, it could be fun to try it. After my first event I was hooked. Now I try to keep something on my calendar every two to three months just so I have something that I’m working towards.
We’re all familiar with the old adage, “Ignorance is bliss.” More and more I am finding this statement to be true. It is particularly true as it relates to my love of running. When I first began to run, I was blown away by how it made me feel. I loved to feel the air in my lungs. I loved to feel the rhythm of my feet on the pavement. I loved how the complexities of life seemed so far removed from what I felt that very moment. I loved the beautiful atmosphere and the sun on my face. All of those things together made me feel so alive. It was, in a word, blissful.
In the early days, one of my favorite running routes took me to the edge of town where I would run on a nice little country road. It was a wooded area and the houses were on large parcels of land and set way back from the road. I would hear the birds singing in the trees and would see squirrels, bunnies, and even the occasional deer.
Guess what was delivered today — my brand new running shoes! I can hardly wait to take my first run in them. I picture myself running down the road with the speed and stride of a cheetah, springing forward almost effortlessly. Of course the sky will be blue and the warm sun will be on my face as I run harmoniously through nature.