I was on the phone with my personal-trainer-for-life XFE last Friday making our plans for the evening. He gently broached the topic that he knows may or may not set me off: “So, are you planning on running this evening?”
“No, I think it’s already too hot out,” I replied, quite logically, I thought.
“Wait, earlier this week it was too cold out and now today it’s too hot?”
“Yep. That’s right. Too hot.”
“So basically, there are only a few days out of the year that are ok for running outside?”
“I also don’t like running outside when it’s too windy, too humid, or sprinkling. You make it sound like I’m being unreasonable.”
“I give up.”
It’s true. I come up with a whole mess of excuses to not go running. Even though I find running to be the most convenient and least odious form of exercise, I can find many, many reasons to not go (“I think I might have a headache,” “my Garmin isn’t fully charged,” “my favorite running shorts are in the laundry,” “I really need to read this week’s issue of In Touch”).
Hell, there are even aspects of running that I actually enjoy, but when it’s time to hit the pavement, everything has to be just perfect for me to lace up my shoes and get out the door.
Last night was not one of those nights. Even though the weather wasn’t perfect, and my day had been long and stressful, I really wanted to run.
Before I could second guess myself, I got geared up, grabbed my dingiest old race shirt from the drawer and went for a run.
I wanted to run just to see other runners out on the trail, doing what they loved. Running despite the horror of Monday’s events in Boston.
I wanted to run to show kids playing in the parks that line the running trail that running is ok and not scary.
I wanted to run as a silent (OK, not silent, more like wheezing and huffing and puffing) ‘thank you’ to all those spectators who give up their chance to sleep in or go have brunch just to watch what might be the most boring spectator event ever. But they come out anyway and crowd the finish lines to cheer on the people they love and sometimes even people they don’t know.
I wanted to run because I’m healthy and whole and I can run. A lot of people can’t after Monday, or won’t want to, and who can blame them?
It was not a perfect evening for running. I was painfully slow and plod-like, the running/bike lanes were crowded, and the air was still and filled with gnats.
Just coming over a bridge, I saw another runner heading towards me. She was wearing the same shirt from a race more than four years ago. We nodded and smiled at each other conspiratorially. “I know. Me too.”