I’ve started running again. Slowly, slowly, slowly. It’s not so much that I’m running slowly, but that I’m easing my way back into a regular running routine. I run a couple of miles once a week. I’d like to sneak in a second day of running on a regular basis…we’ll see if that happens!
The thing that’s different about my running this time is my approach. In the past, I’ve always run with a specific goal in mind. As a kid, I competed at the kid’s track meets in the summer. In high school, I ran for the track team, again for competition. In college and beyond, I ran ran to stay in shape for soccer or to train for a specific race.
Honestly, though, I never really like running in and of itself. When I’ve tried to do it without a 5K to train for or a competitive edge involved, it was kind of a slog. And even when in training, it was something I did because I had to do it to succeed in whatever goal was the end game. I’ve always preferred exercise in the form of a team sport.
But now, post two children and with some extra pounds on these old bones, I’m running with no specific mileage or time goals in mind. I’m not training for anything or looking to compete. I just go out and run.
I run in the scenic downtown area while The Boy has dance class. Sometimes I run around the green. Other times I head to the little wooded area behind the library and the harbor. If I feel like checking out the boats or the baby geese, I do. If I don’t feel like running up a hill, I walk. I don’t keep track of how far I run or how long. It’s very low-key and low pressure. It’s almost meditative.
As someone who grew up playing many competitive sports and who continued that into adulthood, it’s very strange to exercise this way. The only other time I’ve exercised like this was when I did yoga, which I mostly did while I was pregnant so there was a necessity to the low-key manner.
And you know what? I kind of love running this way. It’s liberating. There’s nothing at stake; there’s only gain. I win by running. Period. And it gives me some much-needed alone time. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure this out!
Have you ever gained a new perspective on an old thing?