I ran

My daughter has informed me the proper way to pronounce “Iran”. In case you don’t know, it is not “eye-ran”. It is “ee-rhan”. Being the informed citizen I am, I already knew this. This entry is not about Iran the country, though.

Nor is it about the A Flock of Seagulls song I remember from my youth….Incidentally my work friend Tommy frequently says to me, “I bet you were a fan of A Flock of Seagulls when you were in high school”. Which humors me.

And I ran, I ran so far away
I just ran, I ran all night and day
I couldn’t get away

Well, maybe this entry sorta is about the song because I actually do run. Not that far and I don’t run night and day.

Anyway…..I can be a bit self conscious and I’ve found when I mention to people I run, I often feel some scrutiny. A size up, so to speak. If the other party also is a runner, he/she might ask how far I usually run. If the person is not a runner, he/she often says just that. “I’m not a runner.” Which, due to my self consciousness, sometimes makes me feel like I better be careful because I don’t want to inflict any kind of guilt upon the other person. Which is, obviously, ridiculous. But I think way too much and these are the thoughts that pass through my busy mind.

My favorite place to run is the Legacy Trail, which I can access down the street from my house. It is designed for walkers, runners and bikers and for the most part, keeps one out of the way of car traffic. I don’t recall the total length of the trail, but I generally run a 4 mile loop. Two miles from my local YMCA to a stop light. Then I turn around and run 2 miles back. When I prep for a 10K, I add another mile, then eventually another, making for a total of 6. [not only can I run, I can also add]

My son wants to run a half marathon next October. I agreed to participate. I hope I can manage. So far in my life, I’ve run a 10K without stopping. Can I more than double that? Hopefully. My goal in every race I’ve ever run is no walking. And so far I’ve succeeded.

I might add I disdain treadmills. I will only succumb to one when the weather can be labeled as snowy, icy or a wintry mix or the temperature is below 28 degrees [give or take a few degrees depending on the amount of sunshine and my mood]. Okay, I won’t run in a complete downpour either but do not mind rain. Daylight Savings Time is an unpleasantry in the fall and winter because it gets dark way too early to run post work.  Unless I make up an excuse to leave at 4pm. But, in the spring and summer, DST can be an asset.

I’ve found many people hate running. What I enjoy about it is the freedom. Being completely alone. I don’t take my phone. I know…I know. I should listen to music. But I choose silence. I don’t run with a partner. Oh, sometimes I start out with my son or daughter, but they are 27 and 30 years younger than me. Therefore, much faster. I don’t care to chat when I exercise. Sometimes though, I do chat with myself, which can lead to embarrassment if someone unexpectedly approaches.

Sweet Blessings 5K
My son and I , before running a 5K in May, 2015.

I’ve discovered people on the Legacy Trail sometimes want to be overtly friendly. Which to me equals annoying. The bikers! Dear heavens the bikers. They come up from behind, much faster than my pace, of course. Many of them like to announce they are coming. “On your left!” Thank you so much but just pass me on the left. There is adequate room. I can hear you coming. And frankly, you yelling “On your left!” frightens me more than if you’d simply swoosh on by. Lately the bikers want to also say hello. While they are speeding by. Wearing their fancy biker outfits. As a runner, I’m happy to wear shorts I’ve had for quite some time and a t-shirt. A cap. I don’t need fancy gear other than adequate shoes. I feel bikers are way too into biker fashion. Spandex and bright colors. And they often travel in packs. Running in a pack would make me ill. But alas, if you’re a biker we can still be friends. Just don’t yell at me. Please.

When I meet up with another runner, we generally wave. Or say a quick “Hey.” There’s no yelling involved. I’ve found other runners to be kindred spirits at times. Even if they are much faster or the type of person who quite obviously appears to be a runner. They are generally encouraging. They offer tips and ask questions. They seem happy other people are participating in an activity they enjoy.

IMG_0543
After the Bluegrass 10K. July 4, 2015. The kid in the Packers shirt is my son.

I have a theory that many runners are introverts. My son runs a lot and he certainly is. A female friend of mine, same age as me. She lives in Arizona and we’ve pledged to run a race together before we’re fifty. A friend’s husband. Yes, he’s my friend as well. A guy I know through my job. Sure, I can think of exceptions. Extroverted types who also run. But for the most part, I think it’s an activity for people who just don’t care to be with anyone else for at least a brief period of time.

I think I figuratively “run” as well. Away from what troubles me. Away from stress and noise. Away from people. Running clears my head and helps me relax. I sleep better when I’m physically tired.

Incidentally, the Boston Marathon took place recently. I can’t even imagine……

I’m growing past feeling low because of my lack of quickness. I am, dare I say, short? I prefer the word petite. And I am not so young anymore. So I can only go so fast. But a 7 minute mile and 14 minute mile are both just that…..a mile. [got that off one of my Pinterest boards, thank you!] And yes, I know you’re curious to what my mile is and I’ll only say, it’s somewhere inbetween.

In case you’d like to hear the above mentioned song, or better yet, watch the video while listening…..enjoy! Admittedly, I did not take the time to listen and/or watch the entire song this time around.

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