Rambling thoughts about running

I run. I read a lot of running blogs, and there are a few that I really love, but I’ve noticed that a lot of running blogs either 1) focus on races and training for races or 2) are about moms who run. I’m neither. I would love to run a Tough Mudder, but races aren’t something I actively seek out and I get weary reading constant training posts because I’d rather read posts of people who run to run.

I run to run. I feel better when I run. I stick to around 3 miles usually and when I get bored I change it up. Recently I have been “training” for a half marathon, but I’ve not signed up for one. I’m only doing it so that I know that I can. Also, I think that if I know I can run a half marathon then it will motivate me to finally sign up for a Tough Mudder, because I’m most nervous about the distance. On the off chance I do race, I never really care about my time. Sure, I check my watch when the race is over, but I never have a pace and I never have a time to beat at the start. Heck, I couldn’t tell you what my PR even is for most distances.

My running view most mornings
My running view most mornings

Lindsey over at Common Room explained running one time in a way that I really liked and, of course, I cannot remember exactly what she said so I’ll be paraphrasing. It was in reference to ultra racing, and the barrier to entry and exclusivity around such races. She said that one of the reasons she loves running is because it is accessible to almost anyone. You put on foot in front of the other fast enough and eventually you’re running. This is one reason why organizations like Girls On The Run work so well, it’s taking something completely simple and utilizing it for power and motivation.

Due to my life reset, I’ve gotten more serious about running meaning that it’s worked it’s way back into my almost daily routine and it’s very important to me. As such, things that I was concerned about in my track team days in high school are coming back to my attention and these are things that I do look to other running blogs for advice and information. These things are injuries, gear, nutrition, and inspiration.

Injuries: Figures that once I make a commitment to take care of my body it starts complaining about it. Recently my knees have been more vocal than usual due to the increased mileage and an old knee injury sometimes flares up and I have to make sure to always stretch and do some strength exercises I was given for it. Also, the back of my right foot hurts like a bruise when I wear my Docs (righty is a wee bit smaller than lefty so there’s space in the heel and the back of the boot has bent) and recently that’s become a bit of a recurring issue. Luckily it is directly tied to the boots, when I take the boots off the pain stops completely, and heel inserts are a thing. To strengthen my ankles and Achilles in general (cause I figured it couldn’t hurt) I’ve been doing a lot of stretches and toe raises.

Gear: I’ll need to do a whole post on my workout clothing, but this is the first time in a few years that I’ve been actively shopping and/or looking for workout gear. It’s really fun, I just have to remind myself that I do have a budget. I’ve been having a lot of fun discovering tons of cool indie brands, largely thanks to other bloggers.

 

I've been getting Asics shoes since high school.
I’ve been getting Asics shoes since high school.

Nutrition: Again due to life reset, I’ve been keeping loose track of my calories and nutrients on My Fitness Pal. Once I started paying attention I noticed two major things. One is that since I’ve stopped eating dairy I wasn’t getting much calcium in my diet at all. Cue me freaking out about osteoporosis and quickly incorporating almond milk into my breakfast every day. I am trying keep my net calories between 1350-1500 each day. Meaning that I vaguely calculate how many calories I’ve burned running and do some math. As my mileage increases, so do my calories, and I try not to fixate on a number hence why my daily goal is a range. I also consistently walk over 10,000 steps a day on top of running. I noticed that as I increased my mileage and adjusted my calorie intake accordingly, I was still hungry even if I was hitting the high end of my range every day. I remapped what I had been running and found out that I was off by a little over a whole mile! No wonder I was hungry all the time, some days my net calories were only 1,200! It just made me realize that I need to be careful as I increase my mileage further training for my virtual half that I’m still getting all the calories and nutrients I need to not get sick or hurt myself. Breaking down foods by nutrient has actually been really fun and has given me something more important to focus on than the calories. I know from experience that fixating on a calorie amount is just no good for me.

Inspiration: Besides being a resource for a never ending amount of strength and cross training exercises (I get bored easily) I also love to follow runners who live in places like Colorado or Alaska and dream about moving to the woods and trail running all the time. I love NYC, I love living here, but looking at blogs like this one make me dream of moving away.

One of the few races I have run in the past few years was an Urban Mudder. It was a crap ton of fun, but I'll only try again with a team.
One of the few races I have run in the past few years was an Urban Mudder. It was a crap ton of fun, but I’ll only try again with a team.

I’m currently on the hunt for some geeky bloggers who also run, and some more running bloggers who live in NYC or the surrounding area. I’d also love to find some bloggers who just happen to run and don’t focus on their next race or the next PR.

A few years ago Tom Hiddleston shared an article about running on his Twitter that I’ve yet to find again. I wish I could because it was incredibly motivating. It talked about how when we’re kids, running is a natural state and also an expression of joy. It spoke about how when we get older, we have to justify this expression of joy as “exercise”. That’s kind of what running is for me now. It’s more than a fitness method, it brings me joy and it’s therapeutic as well.