I wasn’t sure if getting back into running was something that I really wanted to do. I kind of found my way back while showing my support for a friend that signed up to run a half marathon and had had their own personal running agenda.
After surviving that half marathon, I took a strength and endurance class for runners at my gym and found myself really interested in continuing with running with the encouragement of the group’s instructor.
Being interested in something and actually wanting to do it are two completely different things. Is running something that I want to continue with? Absolutely. There are so many thoughts that have resurfaced about what I want to do and accomplish for myself and how to help others through running for causes that matter to me.
A few of those runner’s thoughts.
It was never my intention to get into running. In 2011, I learned about a charity that was forming a team to raise money to build a sensory friendly playground and I wanted to be a part of that. Since then, I’ve entered 5 and 10K races here and there to benefit various school and community programs.
I’ve never considered myself to be competitive or ever cared to be. As long as the event beneficiary was raising money, that what mattered. It still matters to me, but now I am also interested in becoming a better runner. I don’t care what pace the person behind or ahead of me is running. I just want to keep improving because I’ve noticed that the better I get at this running thing, other things in my life start to improve.
Obviously, running is not going to solve every issue that comes my way but it’s something that’s mine and no matter what goes on around me, it’s something that I can look forward to doing that doesn’t require having to wait for anyone. I can just lace up and go whenever I want.
What’s next on the list of running things?
I’m still working on my list of things that might be next for me when it comes to this running thing. At the moment, I am just taking things one day at a time while exploring other interests. I’ve always had a love for strength training. There’s just something about the weight room that fascinates me. My original plans after the dreaded half marathon mention earlier (which was after almost two years off) were to just get back into the weight room four days a week, run the occasional 5 or 10K, and go to Zumba classes.
That plan never worked out. After enrolling in that strength and endurance running class and learning what my running teammates enjoy for cross training, I’ve found myself in a bit of an exploration phase of Group X classes at the gym. So far, I’ve tried TRX (which I loved but the class was cancelled), cycling, meditation, cardio kickboxing, and my new love — PILATES. I’m working on striking the perfect balance between running, strength training and pilates. My love affair with pilates will have to be shared at another time. (I could go on all day about how awesome it is.)
What about the running and social good things?
I still plan on running to help with causes that matter to me. At the moment, I am working on being more intentional with the specific causes. As the parent of a child with autism, special interest in organizations that work towards helping to support those in the autism community is always going to be high on my list. Currently, my son is on a running team where I get to be a parent volunteer and run with the group. He’s run a few one mile fun runs in the past, so we’re working towards his first 5K. My son and I are both children of veterans, so doing what I can to help out is another cause that is extremely important.
Recently, I’ve found myself helping in other ways that didn’t require me to put in any serious mileage on a race course. I had the opportunity to be a race day volunteer at one of the water stations at the Broad Street Run. That experience really helped to see things from a different point of view when it comes to participating in future races and helping out with fundraising efforts.
Another cool thing I got the chance to do was consult with an organization in need of help with 5K/walk event planning. I’m really enjoying getting involved in this aspect without worrying about overtraining or injury while still having the chance to take part of the experience.
I don’t know when my next race will be. My race day wish list is constantly changing. I do know that today I will be going out for a run with my son for Global Running Day and after our run, we’ll probably go get something to eat.
What are your plans?