It's been cold...and gloomy...and yes, I know I mention Hawaii a lot (I'll try to move on, someday) but after we returned from 80 degree weather in Oahu to 40 degree weather at home all I wanted to do was "cocoon". See, I have a name for it! (It's much better than referring to my behavior as just plain lazy - don't you think?) So, I spent the majority of January snuggled on my couch with a cup of tea or a white chocolate mocha in my favorite mug, wrapped up in a blanket, my favorite warm socks on, and a book or magazine in my hand! I knew that I could go on like that for some time, but...I call myself a runner, and runners actually have to get up and run to keep calling themselves runners! So, I told myself that once February came I would go out and greet the world once more.
Amazingly enough, the calendar turned to February, and I actually left the couch and put on my running shoes and...are you ready for this...I actually ran!!
And, I remembered why I like it so much!! Running is so free! It's something that I do for me. I'm not a quick runner or for that matter a "pretty" runner, but it's really an amazing experience to think that my body can run for miles without my heart and lungs exploding! Plus, I own the most beautiful pair of running shoes...hmmm, maybe I run because it's an excuse to buy yet another pair of shoes!
I started running about a year and a half ago, just on my own. I liked it and ran the Race for the Cure 5K (just over 3 miles) for Susan G. Koman and a 5K race in Monterey. Now, running by yourself is one thing, but when you get in a crowd of runners, the energy is glorious! And, the knowledge that while I'm not going to actually win a race, but I'm still able to be in front of a lot of other runners takes me back to that childhood competitiveness when you challenged your friends to race you to the fence! Remember those days?
But then it all changed when I found my "Running Buddy". My buddy has run marathons, and half-marathons, and other races - and that just amazes me! So when I casually mentioned to my "Running Buddy" that I was thinking about running a half-marathon, she didn't just say "Wow", she said, "I can put you on a schedule!" I was committed!
Running Buddy and I run every Saturday (well, most Saturdays, and not in January). We drive to a great running park and put in our miles. There are some mornings when we have to inspire each other - believe me, there are some mornings when the alarm goes off and I honestly would not get out of bed if I didn't know that someone was waiting for me! We trained together for our half-marathons last November. Running Buddy inspires me - she reads about runners, and running techniques, and the history of running! I especially love her story about the group of South American Indians who drink all night and then run 50 miles the next day! That got me out of bed last Saturday when I had a few too many glasses of wine with my "Wine Buddies" on Friday night!
So, Running Buddy got me ready to run the Big Sur Half Marathon last November (13.1 miles). Well, if you think I go on about Hawaii, you should have heard me go on about running the Big Sur 1/2! Running along the Pacific Ocean, with 7,000 other runners was the most inspiring thing I have ever done! It was glorious, magnificent, awesome...it gave truth to this quote, "I Run Because I Can't Fly".
And that's it - I run because I can't fly!