Fall is here. Conditions are perfect for running. Apparently, many of you enjoyed my writing about buying running shoes about a year ago. I loved the pair I bought. So, I bought more of them this year. I was shocked to learn at the checkout counter that the delightful and expensive shoes from a year ago had been discounted. I felt bad for the store. Almost sensing how I felt, the storekeeper offered that I could buy two pairs, and use one for walking and one for running. So, I bought two pairs.
In many things in life, luck invariably plays a role. It was a lucky incident that got me running while in college. They offered a free blood cholesterol test to students as a way to encourage them to improve their health habits. The blood test is to be done after fasting. Before I gave my blood sample, I had just had a nice serving of cheesy pizza for lunch and that turned out not to be a good thing! Net result was a cholesterol count that sent me running. I have been running regularly ever since.
Running has its benefits. My girlfriend in college lived about six miles from where I lived. When you arrive in the evening and the girl asks where’s your car, you get to say, oh no, I just ran. Ran six miles? Oh yes, nothing at all. A six-mile (10K) runner comes across as impressive no matter what other disqualifications they might have.
I run three or four times a week. My runs are rarely for six miles. Usually, it’s under four miles. I don’t decide how far I’d run or how fast I’d run when I start running. I take roads or trails to suit my whims that day. Running for me is a time to be just with nature, ponder, and be happy. There are no bad runs. An occasional spill or two is unavoidable if one runs regularly.
Missing a run for me is like missing a regular prayer or service for the deeply religious. There are no excuses for missing a run. Almost all my runs are outdoors. However cold or however hot, it’s always possible to find a way to run. It needs some planning. Sometimes, a run must find time during the lunch break. Other times, bad weather or travel necessitate running on consecutive days to avoid a missed run. Yet other times, running up and down the stairs becomes the only viable option.
Being regular is the hardest for an aspiring runner. Often our body guides how much or how fast we can run. While it is fine to be ambitious, it is important to stop before the back or knees start hurting. There’s nothing wrong with a slow 5-minute run! If that is something that you can do regularly, you’re doing your body and mind a world of good. Running is just walking fast. So walk before you run, regularly!
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