Doing a Run

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So this weekend, I ran 3.5 miles outside for the first time.

As usual for a run this far, I had to psych myself up for it. I had to tell myself that I’ve done this already, even if it was just on the treadmill. I had to remind myself that I had already run three miles outside the week prior.

But just because I’ve done it before doesn’t make it easy.

In fact, at this point, I can’t even imagine that I’ll ever be one of those people who say, “I’m going for a run. Be back soon!” That’s what I envision runners do… just go for a run. No problem. They trot off and then come back. That’s all there is to it.

I’m not one of those people that I envision.

Instead, the words I use when I tell my husband where I am going are: “I’m going to do my run now” or “I’ve got to do my run today.” Can you see the difference?

I feel like true runners are going for a run, while I’m doing a run. In essence, they are doing something for or giving something to themselves, whereas it’s something I have to do. Interesting, huh?

I don’t love running. I’m not sure I even like it. And many of you are going to say, “Well then, Carrie, you need to find something you enjoy doing so that you stick with the exercise!”

Honestly, I don’t buy that.

The truth is that while I don’t actually love to run, there are things I like about running. When it comes to running, part of “doing” it is to prove something to myself.

I like proving to myself that I can do it.

I like proving to myself that I’m not lazy, that I can use my body.

I like proving to myself that I have the strength and stamina to keep going.

I like proving to myself that I can get past the mental block that I find at least 80% or running is all about.

And of course, the other part of running for me is to lose weight. That’s happening, too. And when the run is complete, I love the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of mental clarity, the feeling of breathing easily.

I have the most supportive husband. On Saturday, we had yard work to do {notice how it’s the same word I use when it comes to running?}, but he said, “Why don’t you go do your run first? It’s more important.” I loved that he said that. He knew as much as I did that I wouldn’t have the energy to do my run afterward. {Or I at least would have used that excuse.}

The funny thing is that after I returned from my 3.5 mile run, I think it was easier to do the yard work {despite the fact that I felt a little queasy}. My limbs felt loose, my lungs were open and I felt strong. And while I knew I needed to eat something soon, we kept plugging away. I had the energy. I would have never expected that, nor would that have happened if I did the tasks in the opposite order.

So while I still don’t feel like a runner, doing my run does have its benefits. While it’s not the actual act of running that keeps me happy, it’s the after effects that do.

What do you love about exercise?

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