Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

Today is National Running Day.  Did you get out there and run?  Did you even know that there was a “National Running Day”?  I did not, but considering the fact that there is a National Donut Day, it just makes sense to have a national running day.  How else will you burn off those Crispy Crèmes? :-)  

A sore, but happy runner
I really had not been planning on running today, but who could resist running on National Running Day?  Being one of those crazy runner people, not me!  I did a long run on Sunday and a short, but fast run yesterday before an almost fifty mile bike ride.  So, I took it easy today and only ran a quick one-mile after a twenty-minute swim and before a 17-mile bike.  Coach Joe just shook his head.  I was only supposed to swim today.   

Those of you that know me well know that I love to run.  Really.  I love to feel the pavement beneath my feet and feel the wind and sunshine kissing my face.  Do I love it everyday?  Nope.  I'm not a big fan of running when it's super hot and humid, otherwise I'm good to go on most days.  I enjoy the companionship of running with a buddy, but I also relish the solitude and the rhythm of running solo.  I really do my best thinking, praying, and detuning while running.  I can go out exhausted emotionally, mentally or physically and come back, even from a short run, rejuvenated, exhilarated. 

I have run since childhood but mostly just for fun.  In high school, I ran on the soccer field but rarely off of it.  Throughout my childhood and even into young adulthood, I would run with my dad for a little one on one time.  Typically our runs were no longer than a few miles, but I enjoyed them immensely.   I can close my eyes and still picture the route we would take, hear the sounds of the crickets and the traffic on those hot summer nights, just enjoying the being with my dad. 

Joe and I ran my first 5K in February of 2007,
 pushing the kids all the way
I am not afraid to run in the dark and still enjoy the solitude of a predawn run.  There’s nothing better than to be out running, watching the sunrise and dawning of a new day.  The day is still full of endless potential.    

I have always liked to run, but I had never run competitively until I did a 5K right before I did my first triathlon.  I still remember when running a mile was exhausting, even before chemo.  I could do a whole hour of step aerobics, but if you made me run, I would be gasping for breath like a fish out of water after only a quarter of a mile or so.  Slowly, year-by-year, I started adding mileage.  First it was 5Ks and then I did my first 10K.  I remember thinking Joe was nuts when he did his first half-marathon.  Now, the siren song of the half-marathon gets to me at least once a year.  My 5Ks have been given over to the kids; I run what they run, encouraging them all the way.
Jubilant after running my first half-marathon

I still remember the first time I told someone that I was a “runner”.  I was in the checkout line at Publix.  I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but I do remember feeling like the checker would call my bluff when I told her I was a “runner”.  I don’t look like a typical “runner”.  While I am a thin person with long legs, I am very short, despite what my inner self thinks.  Thankfully, the checker didn’t even blink twice; she actually said something encouraging and I went on my merry way, secure in the fact that I was officially, a “runner”.    

Two of my favorite little runners
Nowadays, I run with more purpose than I did as a kid, and even a few years ago.  Back in my early triathlon days, I ran so that I didn’t collapse at the finish line and end up with one of those, less than flattering finish line pictures.  Now, I run to get faster, to maintain my health and my weight.  I run to see what my body is capable of.  I still smile when I run, relishing in the fact that my legs can carry me to such distances.  I will never be swift or run effortlessly, but running to me is oh so sweet.  Am I a crazy runner?  Yup, and darn proud of it!

So, here’s to National Running Day!  Lace up your kicks and join us crazies.  Who knows, you might end up liking it as much as we do. :0)


  1. Wow! kind of funny to see the 2 pictures of Joe side-by-side up there... What a difference 4 3/4 years (& a few IM's & countless other races) makes! I am looking forward to also feeling like a real runner :)

  2. Oh & I did run 2 miles (& it was the most consecutive running so far too). Of course I did it before I knew that it was National Running Day but so happy that I got to "participate".