I haven’t released to a new post in 3 weeks because truth be told, I haven’t been running a lot. Maybe averaging two 5k’s a week. None of it felt remarkable and it certainly didn’t seem blog worthy. I started feeling down because running is my new “thing” and if I’m not running enough or writing about running then what’s the point? Am I even a runner?
This way of thinking has plagued me as an actor and comedian. If I’m not doing shows, am I still a comic? If i’m not booking any gigs, am I still an actor? The answer is, yes. Being an artist or a runner isn’t a “thing”, it’s a lifestyle. You are not defined by titles or the amount of “work” you’re doing. What you’re doing in-between is equally important. Reading, rest, writing, yoga, eating, taking baths, petting dogs, buying crap online etc.
There are many factors as to why a runner might not be running. For me it was a combination of injury (what up plantar fasciitis!), weather, unsafe running conditions and just being busy. I started looking at my Nike run app, seeing how few kilometres I had clocked, and then felt shitty. Friends of mine were running half marathons, just cause! Should I be running half marathons?! Should I be running faster? Harder? Better? COOLER?? DO I LOOK COOL WHEN I RUN?!?! TELL ME I’M COOL.
I had to take a step back and ask myself why I started running in the first place. I started running because I wanted to amp up my cardio with an outdoor activity during this pandemic. Walking and biking wasn’t doing it for me. It was also to see if I could actually do it. As I mentioned in my inaugural blog post, I always told myself that running wasn’t for me and that I would never EVER be a runner. This journey truly started off as an experiment! An experiment that taught me not to put any limitations on myself. As much as I was running for physical health, I was running for my mental health. I have to remind myself of this when I start comparing myself to others. At this point, I’m not running to train for a marathon or clock the most kilometres on an app. I’m running because it’s therapeutic and constantly reminds me of my inner and outer strength.
My goal when I started this blog was to encourage everybody to try running. To make it less daunting. Every time I go for a run now I say “Just have fun and see what happens”. (so cheesy, right?) If I want to go faster, I do. If I want to walk for a bit, I will. If I want to yell FUCK because the icy wind is burning my eyes, I got for it!
Everyone is unique and on a different stage of their running journey so I decided to ask some of my friends and fellow runners, why do you run?
I had a baby and I got really uncomfortable with my size. I just didn’t feel right and my building has a treadmill so I thought I’d try that and my son played with his toys. I noticed him watching and realized that I need to look after myself so he can see how to do that… fast forward to now I run long distance and he rides his bike beside me up to 10k. Some days I don’t want to run but he’ll say come on Mom get your shoes it’s a nice day for a run . I tag all my runs with #beatyesterday and its tattoo’d on my arm in his handwriting. Do better today than yesterday because someone depends on you
Initially I started running because when I moved to New York (March 1st) all the gyms closed down before I even had the chance to join one. When spring came, I started running- it was a great way to explore my new neighborhood. I couldn’t go IN anywhere, but I enjoyed window shopping for my future life here. Then I started to feel that’s “runner’s high” people talk about, and lost 15lbs without even focusing on dieting. Plus, like Julia, I’m on the Nike Run Club app and I like to make sure I’m smoking Pete Zedlacher 😉
I run because it makes me feel amazing both mentally and physically. I started running as an inexpensive and convenient way to combat work stress and was ecstatic about my results. Now I continue to run to see what more my body can do. Every time I go further, faster, or even explore a new route, I feel accomplished all over again. I also love rocking a matching bra top and tights. When my butt looks good, I feel good!
I’ve been long distance running off and on since I was a kid. I run for all the same reasons people say they meditate. It has made me more aware of my thoughts, more disciplined and happier. I truly believe it changes a person for the better. It trains my brain to block out thoughts of “I can’t do this” and focus on what’s in front of me instead.
I run because I love to be busy. Running is the most busy a human body can be at one time. My legs are moving, my brain is focused…nothing else matters. And then after I feel like I have every right to eat an entire loaf of sour dough and that feels good.
So, why do you run? Remember to check in with yourself and ask this question from time to time. Your reasons might change but no matter what you should be running on your own terms.
For better or worse, I’ve still got the runs!