Thankful for the Run

During this holiday season, I would like to address some of what I am thankful for. I’m very thankful to have married into such a great, supportive family, and to have a supportive family of my own. They all support my running-and even suffer through what I can only imagine are somewhat tiring conversations I hold regarding my running (how my race went, my pace, how I’m training, etc.). One particular time when I was explaining a particularly “impressive” training run to my adult aged niece, telling her how happy I was about my pace, she said “Is that fast? I really have no clue.” Just an example of a supportive relative, very honestly telling me just how unaware the general population can really be regarding what I so fondly enjoy doing on a regular basis.

So I’m thankful for those of you that suffer through my most likely somewhat boring conversations about running-specifically my wonderful relatives and good friends who get to hear about it the most. That being said, I’m very thankful for the friends that also enjoy the run and will talk with me about it incessantly! 🙂

I’m thankful for my dear husband, for listening to me as I go on and on about running-and for being supportive of my goals as I try to improve upon my running ability.

I’m thankful for the weather we have been having. I ran over my lunch hour today in downtown Omaha, Nebraska (beautiful scenery I might add), and the weather was unseasonably warm (around 58 degrees when I ran). There were a lot of people out walking during my run, which often brings me added energy, keeping me going. Running in late fall/early winter doesn’t generally garner such happiness and fulfillment in Nebraska (though the feeling after the run usually does help). A few weeks ago, I went running on a predictably cold, cloudy day, and the feeling of isolation was palpable (as a result, this usually leads me to the gym on a more regular basis).

I’m thankful for my health and the ability to run. I stopped for a sandwich after my run and saw someone I knew who had seen me on my run. He is probably in his 50s and told me how he saw me outside running and missed when he used to run. He said walking just isn’t the same, but his knees can only handle so much now, so he had to stop running. I realized after that conversation, that I have been running off and on for 26 years (aside from the typical non race related running you do as a child). It struck me today just how lucky I am to still be able to run with little to no injury issues (knock on wood). I realize I’m not as old as the person I spoke with, but I know others that have had to stop the run before their time (into their 30s) due to bad knees, etc. So I need to take care of my knees (of course) and run in moderation (see one of my earlier posts). I continue to strength train as well, as this will help the bones and ligaments stay strong.

How do I do this? Well, for me there is no strict schedule-I don’t really have the ability to stick to anything really specific with three young children, even during training for a race, but I do tend to either run or do some sort of circuit training (thank you, Pinterest) at home if it is too dark and the gym is closed. I take one day off a week from exercise, as a general rule, and running is the majority of what I do for cardio. The key here, though (and advice given to me by one particular person who has had bad knees get in the way of continued running), is to not run too much (I seem to recall specifically “stick to 5ks”)…so while I do have a desire to run a marathon one day, I don’t have a desire to stop running before my time. Essentially, if the time comes where the marathon makes sense, I will do one-I honestly would prefer to continue to run than to enjoy several marathons and wind up stopping before I’m ready due to a debilitating injury.

Tonight, I’m very thankful for my family and friends, thankful for the weather, thankful for the glass of wine I got to enjoy tonight, and thankful for the run.

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