A good book is always something that brings a smile to my face. This was a good one, maybe not on the top of my list for 2014, but at least one that was worth seeing through to the end. For some reason I have been reading books on running. I am not sure why exactly, but somehow when I read about running (and since I read while running) it inspires and encourages me to keep running. Try it sometime. Whether or not you are crazy enough to read on the treadmill while running, or if you listen to a book on your smartphone while running, a book that inspires running makes me just want to go faster and longer.
The book? “Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run” by Alexandra Heminsley. It is about a girl who never has run in her life and decides to train for a marathon. It is her training experience, how that shapes the relationship with her father (a marathon runner), and then how others ask her to train with them for continued marathons in her future. She is real, down-to-earth, and makes you realize that anyone, yes, anyone can run a marathon if they just put their mind to it and get started. It did not used to be this way, but running is now me. I am cranky when I do not have enough time to run, or if I am just too exhausted after a long day. I feel robbed when I do not get my run in. My thoughts are similar to Alexandra’s:
“That day in October was the day that taught me so much about why I run. It wasn’t a habit, it was a necessity: the essential realization that I can carry on when I am sure I am about to die; that to survive, I just have to keep going, keeping the faith that I could leave the house almost trembling with trepidation about what lay ahead, and if I could keep myself going, a few minutes, a few lampposts, a few blocks at a time, I would be improving not just my running but how I managed my life.” Page 109
Running keeps me sane. Just ask Chris. We often cater our weekend plans around my runs. I either will not leave the house for the day without getting a long run in, or I have to know that whatever event we are off to, when we return home there will still be time for me to run. Addicted? Maybe. Is that so bad? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When I have an hour to get out of my head, be quiet and present in my moving and sweaty body I feel most like me. There is something rewarding about knowing I have pushed through, and in the end I am often given answers to questions I have been asking, and a greater sense of peace about my life and the world.