A few months ago I listened to Jim Fixx’s book “The Complete Book of Running”
And even though it was written over 30 years ago and it was dated, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
One thing that really struck a chord with me was when he was discussing the concept that if you’re passionate about running, you will find ways to do it.
Well that got me thinking. . .
Ever since I started working the day shift at the hospital, my running has been limited to the weekends and the occasional day off. I didn’t necessarily appreciate that fact.
Thinking about it though, I realized that I was doing a lot of walking to and from work: about 6 miles round trip. So I thought, “Why not run?”
Okay, well I could run to work but I knew I would not be satisfied with a measly little ol’ 3 mile run. That was almost not worth getting dressed for – although notice I said “almost.” Of course if that’s all I could run, I’d take it. J
But I thought if I got up a wee bit early, I could run a few more miles before the 3 miles to work.
When I was processing all of this, it was already November. So when I decided to try this, the days were getting shorter and shorter all the time!
So how early could I get up and run safely? It’s a tricky thing with my eyesight (or lack thereof.) Too dark and I can’t see a thing!
But morning twilight was just before 7:30 a.m. I knew if I could see well enough, I could get in 5 extra miles before running the 3 miles to work, giving me a total of 8 miles, and then 3 miles back home after work. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yea, this could work!
Now I had to find a way to shower all the running off me before mixing in with the general population. If I listened to Jim Fixx, well, he didn’t think it was a problem to smell a little sweaty. But sorry Jim, I just can’t do it! I have to face patients and their families and co-workers and of course, myself all day long. I much prefer smelling sweet as a tropical fruit salad to sweaty as an 8 mile runner.
Fortunately I work at a hospital that has a Fitness Center. For $20 a month, I could use the showers as well as the Fitness Center itself.
I really didn’t need to use the fitness equipment, just the showers. And score, the Fitness Center provided clean towels as well!
So I put my plan into action, and joined the Fitness Center, and the next day I got up before 7 a.m.
I had my pre-run meal of yogurt, and then proceeded to put all my blinking lights on – a total of 4, in red, green, blue and white. Yes I was a flashing fool, but thought it better to be seen as a flasher, then a fool!
I made out quite nicely on my run, as I could see fairly well. I was even able to time it so I could still stop and get my beloved lunch bagel at my favorite bagel place, “Bagels on Broadway.”
I had put a package of instant oatmeal in my running pack, so I could replenish my glycogen stores when I got to work.
As I write this, it’s been almost 2 months since I started running to and from work, and I feel great! I love the fact that I get to run almost every day.
I have run in temperatures as low as 9 degrees F, and my water had ice cubes in it when I got to work! But since I know how to dress for the cold weather, I stayed pretty toasty.
The only part of me that gets really cold is my hands. I was thinking I never had this problem in the past, but then I realized I didn’t have to run in such cold temps before, as my work schedule didn’t limit when I could run.
But not to worry about my fingers, as T’s mom and dad made me some really awesome hand warmers. They are filled with seed corn, and when you place them in the microwave oven for a couple of minutes they come out oh so nice and warm. I hold one in my left hand, and the other wraps around my right hand (that’s the one that I use my white cane with) custom made for me!
These corn bags have been a lifesaver, as I don’t think I could have run in such cold temps without them!
I really like it when it snows about an inch or two. The path I run on is asphalt and therefore the snow melts off pretty fast, leaving white edges in the grass and on the side of the trail. This gives me a great visual field: a black path with white borders! I wish it was like that all the time, then I could run faster and without the need of my cane so much.
Because of the angle of light and the frequency of having my black on white path, winter running can be some of the best and fastest runs I have.
All this running has made it possible for me to have the highest weekly mileage since I have been a runner. The last part of December I had 70 miles total for the week! Some might think it’s crazy to run that much, but I love, love , LOVE It!
So what is your passion? What is keeping you from doing everything possible to make sure you are able to enjoy and do what you love to do?
Make 2012 a “NO Excuses” year!
How ‘bout it?