Yesterday was an excellent day for an outdoor run. When I decided to take up running earlier this summer using the Couch-to-5K training plan, I ran exclusively outside in my neighborhood, pushing my then newborn ‘running buddy’ in his jogging stroller. When I returned to work, I took full advantage of the treadmills in our gym and enjoyed the convenience (and climate controlled environment) they provided.
A few months have gone by now and I’ve discovered that running on a treadmill is not my favorite thing to do, so now I do it by necessity only. Running outdoors, in contrast, gives your body the freedom to go at it’s own pace (in my case, I tend to run faster!), provides a lot more visual stimulation to occupy your mind, and makes doing sprints and fartleks a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. When I’m out there in the elements, I love feeling the curves of the earth underneath my feet, the sun and wind on my face, and breathing in deeply the air all around me. Running outside makes me feel alive, and “small” in relation to the world. I appreciate the little rewards I receive for finishing my outdoor runs – like this amazing rainbow that seemed to stretch forever across the sky as the rain rolled in. I love the fact that I can go for runs with my husband outside and not feel scared that I won’t be able to keep up.
For a woman who never in her life thought she would run, it amazes me to be able to say I enjoy running now that I’ve made a conscious decision to “do different”. It gives me great joy to say — I am a runner.