Thursday, April 14, 2011

Progress (and a touch of pride)

I went for an early morning run yesterday. I have been experimenting lately with sugar-intake before my runs, and I'm all stocked up on orange juice. I was really dragging yesterday morning and did something that I haven't done yet since I started running again: I put the music on.

I don't run with music. Partly because I typically run with buddies, and partly because the only time I ever run alone is during the wee, dark hours of the morning; having loud German industrial music blocking out all other sound when one is running in the dark seems like a dumb idea. I like being aware of my surroundings, and I like not being raped-and-murdered, so I leave the headphones at home.

I needed something to motivate me though and music is usually my go-to motivator, so I put the Rammstein on (one ear-bud only, so I could still hear bushes rustling and footsteps behind me) and I ran.

I ran for nearly seven minutes straight. I didn't mean to, I just forgot to get tired. This is a huge accomplishment for me, being out of shape (and a filthy smoker on top of that). When I realised how well I was doing, I nearly cried from the joy of having tangible, recordable proof of my progress.

This is what I love about running: the results are immediately evident. My clothes fit better within days; I had more energy and motivation to do things; I felt better emotionally; I felt stronger walking up and down my stairs with the laptop, handbag, gym bag, extra pair of shoes...

I even relish the aches and pains: sore muscles that prove I put effort into it; achy shin-bones that remind me to watch how I land; stiff joints that tell me when I need rest.

I'm a runner. The simplicity confounds me.

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