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03 July 2012

Don't Forget to Run


Don't forget to run. It's my reminder every day. Don't forget to run, don't forget to run, don't forget to run.

I never thought I'd enjoy it. I thought running was strictly a chore to stay healthy. So I'd listen to "motivational" music and treadmill it, or I'd run outside and my lungs burned. Nothing seemed to fit.

For just a few weeks now, I've been running. It started when I was extremely stressed out by work one day and when the end of the day rolled around, I felt so extremely overwhelmed and frustrated and worried that I didn't know what to do. I hate working out so there was nothing in my closet that worked, but I hurriedly put on a pair of old beach shorts, a heavy t-shirt, and Merrells that are primarily for walking, not running. I threw my hair into a ponytail and I RAN.

And I'm not talking about a jog. I was so stressed out that day that I RAN, unhealthily pushing myself, my body that has not worked out in years. I RAN, sprinted like someone was coming after me, and everything hurt. I thought I was having a complete meltdown.

When I slowed down, my lungs about to fall apart, and my mind in a complete whir of to do lists and "oh-my-goodness-I-forgot-to-do-that" moments, I realized I actually felt...better. Could it be? Was it possible the people I knew who ran for fun, the ones I always scoffed at and thought they were insane, might actually be right?

I tried it again the next day. The temperature was creeping up but I didn't care, I wanted to try again and see if I could do it and feel the same way. I did. I felt refreshed, I felt better, I felt FREE.

The next day I took my iPhone so I could listen to my audiobook. I've always thought I was supposed to listen to something like hardcore music, or something uplifting, making me feel like I was in my own personal Chariots of Fire movie. Meh. I guess it could help. But for me, the ticket was realizing that I don't always have to do what everyone else does and instead, I decided to listen to an audiobook. It WORKED. I was so focused on the story that I didn't even realize I had been running for a little bit and that I was having fun. I could not believe it.

And you know what else I realized? I knew I was not a natural runner, but because I finally bought the RIGHT types of running gear (Brooks shoes, lightweight shorts, dri-fit socks, an armband for my iPhone, a white lightweight hat made for running so it reflects the sun and cools my head instead of my dark hair soaking in the sun), it's like it suddenly clicked. I outfitted myself with the right stuff and the gear helps, it doesn't weigh me down. It all makes sense for me.

But, it's only been a few weeks since I started running. I hope I don't lose sight of my goals to lose weight and to feel FREE, and I hope I don't forget how much FUN I'm actually having. It's my own thing, it's about me. Don't forget to run, don't forget to run, don't forget to run.

Yeah, I've got a Pinterest board now for running. Let me know if you have one so I can follow it. I need all the help and reminders I can get.

This post was my first for Joy's Book Blog's regular Tuesday meme, Readers' Workouts.


16 comments:

  1. You go, girl! I started lifting weights recently, and feel great!

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  2. Natalie this is so AWESOME. I used to love to run and then slacked off. There's no exercise I've found that leads to great euphoria when I'm done. You are inspiring me to get back to running again. I miss that feeling!

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  3. Hooray! I have a "Keep Running" note on my mirror. Found the same as you that running makes me feel really good. In fact, I crave it!

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  4. Great post! I don't run for fun, but I never thought of listening to audiobooks when I actually do run. Great idea. Thanks for sharing this and keep going! :)

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  5. Have you read What I Think About When I Think About Running by Haruki Murakami? It's a little memoir about his love of long distance running. Recommend it.

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  6. I have not worked out in years so your story inspired me. I think my running will be bike riding, but I'm going to do it the way I want to do it.

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  7. I need to try listening to books when running. I'm not a natural runner either and I haven't really ever found the fun yet but I'd like to.

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  8. I'm absolutely hopless at running, but when I get some energy back I definitely want to get some cycling done again.

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  9. This is so wonderful and inspiring, and it makes me want to join in! I have had running on my mind for quite awhile, but haven't managed to do it yet, so your post really makes me itchy to get started. Great job with this today. Keep running, girl!

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  10. You sound so very passionate about this. It makes me want to buy a new pair or running shoes and start out slow....you go girl

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  11. Woohoo! This post made me smile all over. It is so much about finding something that works for you.

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  12. I loved this post. I saw on Twitter you started a separate blog for running, but I don't mind reading those posts here :) I have a love-hate relationship with running. I am not a natural runner either, but when I really devote myself to it, I really enjoy it. I just have to be more consistent with it. I've been meaning to try listening to audio books while running too, but I'm worried I won't be able to concentrate - but then maybe I'll be concentrating so hard on the story, I won't notice I'm running! ;)

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  13. Good for you!! Henry has started to run again, too. You should try running on the board walk early in the morning. I'll wave to you as you run by - I'm one of the walkers.

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  14. I've been thinking of trying the Couch to 5k program. I love that you listened to an audiobook -I will have to try that.

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  15. My left knee doesn't want me to run so I've been walking for the last month. I noticed the other day that it doesn't feel as stiff as it used to though and I may try to walk/run a couple of times next week and see what happens. I think it's great that we can inspire and uplift each other in the book blogging world :)

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  16. Wow! Totally inspirational! I really need to do something too, I have something in mind.

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