This morning while I was running, it stuck me that maybe I don’t actually love running so much as I love being in beautiful places.
When I got up this (very dreary) morning, I wasn’t really committed to going for a run. I thought I might want to be cozy for a bit, lounge around in my sweatpants, drink tea, settle into a work-from-home morning. But then I had kind of too much pent-up muscle energy, so I figured I might as well bike myself over to Mt. Tabor Park and see how I felt when I got there.
Which means that despite not really planning to, I ended up running.
But if I’d had to run from my front door, I’m not sure I would have done it. It was the addition of Mt. Tabor that made it happen.
(it was not snowy this morning; just illustrating that it is a beautiful place for a run no matter what the weather;)
I mean, I definitely do like the muscle-feeling of running, especially when I’m in good running shape and it feels easy (ha! Which is not where I’m at right now), but I hardly ever leave our house, for example, thinking that I want to run through the neighborhood. If I run on the track nearby, or in circles around Clinton Park (which is mostly large sports fields), I get bored pretty quickly, and I start thinking about how long it’s been, and if it’s been long enough and I’ve gotten enough energy out yet to stop. (Let’s not even mention treadmills, which I hate.)
But when I’m at Mt. Tabor, my brain and time turns into something else entirely. It goes like this: for the first 10-15 minutes, which always seem to involve some sort of hill I’m not quite warmed up yet for, I think damn, this is hard, how have I ever done this for long stretches of time at once? And I think about calling it good at 20 minutes, and I give myself permission to do that if I actually want. But then I run up or down another hill or two, or around the reservoir, past the lone larch tree hiding amidst all the Douglas-fir, maybe I hear a varied thrush or see the diving buffleheads (both back now for the winter!) and smile to myself, and pretty soon I’m in a whole different world. I take one turn and then another, and all the trails give me so many wonderful options, and then I look at my watch and realize it’s already been 50 minutes and maybe I need to go home and start work soon.
All of which is to say, again, it might not be running so much as beautiful places that I love.
And maybe if you think you don’t like something, it’s not the thing itself, but the environment you’re doing it in that’s not working for you.
So that’s the random running thought of the day.