I Love To Run

When I run, I do many things. I think about issues that need resolving. I balance my hormones and gain strength and endurance. I dance, sing, and enjoy music that I’m not allowed to listen to while my kids are around. (They’ll never be old enough to listen to the Twurkulator with me) I breathe, I exist, I am alone. I watch for wildlife… so far I’ve seen 4 badgers, (a momma with her 3 babies) a ton of bunnies, crows, baby deer, grown up deer, snakes, ground hogs, herons, squirrels, cats, and pieces of people’s pasts.

I love to run. I don’t always love it while I’m doing it, but when I get home I always feel better about having done it. I am not running for races or events or to be skinny. I’m running to get sunlight on my skin and fresh air in my lungs. I run for the silence of being alone and the satisfaction of doing something physical. Running is my favorite physical activity, because I can finally be alone with my thoughts.

I don’t just run, though. There’s more to exercise than being alone. I like to do burpees and wall balls and push ups and crunches and all manner of things that make my muscles scream. It’s also a control thing. When I’m doing a burpee or running, I control how fast I go and how much I do. I’m in control of my that situation, and after having kids I’ve come to realize we’re not as in control as we think we are. That’s where my physical activities come in. I can control my body, and by working out not only do I get a nice endorphin kick, I am in total control of myself for that hour+.

My exercise is how I press my mental “reset” button. It’s how I detox my body, heart, and mind.

Some days I take my running more seriously than others. I try not to take it too seriously however, because that’s when it’ll stop becoming fun. I don’t stop on my runs… if I say I ran 6 miles that day, it means I ran 6 miles without stopping. However, in the spirit of not taking it too seriously, I will stop to take pictures of things that interest me every now and then. Mostly, it’s of animals.

Deer Bunny Groundhog Snake Fawns

I wish I had gotten a picture of the badgers as they went by, because it was the most adorable thing I’d ever seen on a run. Don’t worry, the snake is just a milk snake. Nothing to worry about. Also one of my favorite things to see on my trail runs are the remnants of past homes. There’s a set of concrete stairs leading up to nothing right next to a creek. I imagine they were once connected to a house… a house that had people living in it a long time ago. Maybe they had kids. Hearts were broken, beaten and fulfilled in the home that no longer exists but for the steps.

When they expanded my trail (it’s paved through a wooded area) they revealed more remnants of past landowners. There’s a fenced in basketball court that looks like a jungle grew up into it. before they cleaned up the construction debris, there was a tractor tire and a slide just standing there. A kid’s playground maybe? Someone’s back yard? It was rusted and busted and utterly fascinating. I bet some kid long, long ago was so excited to get that slide. Imagine the laughs and the scraped knees that happened once there long ago. Maybe a teenager leaned against that tire while she watched her little sister play on the slide, and thought about her first kiss. Who knows? There are so many things that are lost in this world. Seeing the ruins of the past always saddens me just a little. Then my head starts going through potential scenarios that may or may not have happened there. I wonder if there’s anybody alive who still remembers that slide when it was brand new?

IMG_20130802_133655_920

My favorite thing to do when running, however, has nothing to do with animals or junk or other people. My favorite thing to do while running is look for four leaf clovers. I know, I know. I told my husband about this once, and he insisted that I must not be running very fast at all. I agree, I’m not running at a stellar pace. Between 10 and 10:30 min/mi is my average. It’s not very fast, but I’m okay with that. I could run up to 13 miles at that pace on a good day. I’ve perfected my clover searching technique at this pace. As of today, I’ve logged in approximately 931 miles in 2 years on the two different apps I’ve run with, and I’ve found a grand total of 3 four leaf clovers. That’s not too bad, given I’m running at the time.

Here’s how I do it: When I pass a patch of clover, I focus on a single clover out of the entire patch. Just one. In the brief seconds I am looking at that single clover, I look at the shape of it. Recognizing a particular shape is faster than counting. If it’s shaped like a 3 leafed clover, I run on. Every once in a while I’m tricked by a rogue clover trying to weave it’s way onto another clover, so that it looks like there’s four leaves. Today, I found a rather large four leafed clover, and stuck it in the back of my phone case. (i use my phone for music, gps, and clover transportation) I know, it’s a little weird, but it’s my thing. Let me have it in peace.

Clover

That black cord in the picture is from my headphones. Maybe my next tattoo will have a four leafed clover in it?

 

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