I ran this morning for the first time since Ragnar. I've mostly been hiking for exercise ("sitting around eating cookies while complaining about being sore” doesn’t really count as exercise does it?), mostly because of our upcoming Yosemite hike, but also because I was a little bit afraid, after hitting the wall so hard, to put my running shoes on and go.
(Also because I need new running shoes! No more blisters! But the shipping of the new running shoes from Dick’s is taking for.ev.er.)
But when I started running this morning I realized: hmmm. I’m ok. No, wait. I’m happy! And I wrote this list of ten things that make me happy when I’m running. Well, “wrote” it in my head, while I was running.
1. Getting started. There's something so joyful in the first ten yards or so. The sky is so blue! And look at those little fluffy clouds! And is that some sort of falcon or hawk circling that tree? Nope, just a seagull. (Of course, then you get to that phase when you think have I ever run a step in my life? And then you start reminding yourself that it won't hurt like this forever.) I like that I remember every single time I start running that I love running.
2. Hitting lights green. Especially on big, busy intersections. When I know a light is coming up, I start speeding up as I get closer, but that doesn’t always work with the timing. Getting to the cross walk just as the light turns green? Running nirvana.
3. The sprinkler-challenged. Utah is a desert, but people forget that sometimes. And water their sidewalks at 10:00 in the morning. This generally annoys me to no end, but when I’m running? Ahhh. A sprinkler hitting the sidewalk = instant coolness. I ran along one entire solid block this morning of sprinkled sidewalk, and I wasn’t annoyed one bit. (I am a running hyprocrite I suppose. I’ll claim that title if it means my legs get to cool down for a few minutes!)
4. Drivers who look right before they turn right. Think about it: when you’re turning right, you look left to make sure the road is clear. But so many drivers don’t look right again, to watch for those pesky pedestrians. Drivers who do it right make me happy.
5. Courteous drivers, period. There are a lot of rude, bad drivers on the road. But oh! When someone doesn’t run a stop sign, but actually stops and lets you cross? So nice! I tend to wave at the good drivers who make my run easier, although sometimes I wonder if they interpret my run as a “holy cow, you’d better stop right there” gesture.
6. Trees. Sure, there are all those environmental reasons that trees are good. But the best reason? They give shade to runners.
7. and Flowers. Today I ran past someone’s rosebush that almost needed to be deadheaded, the roses were so blowsy. But they still were fragrant, and that little psychological boost of smelling something good sometimes is just the thing to keep me moving. It’s not just the scent though…just seeing a patch of happy flowers makes me a happier runner.
8. Street lights. They are perfectly spaced for a mile or two of fartleks.
9. Running clothes that work properly. A headband that stays in place, those grippy rubber things on shorts that actually grip, “anti-chafing” seams that don’t chafe. Socks that wick. And cuteness!
10. Finishing. I love when the last block is finally here. I try to finish with a little kick, giving whatever energy I have left to the last bit. It’s always good to start…but if I’ve run hard enough, it’s pretty good to stop, too!
What do you love about running?