In June, I posted about my return to running. Well, it’s September, and I’m still at it. No, don’t applaud. I’m still slow. And I’m still wrestling with “shin splints” and having to take it much easier than I’d like. But I’m enjoying it. A couple weeks ago, I went out for a walk and just found myself breaking into a run (no, the police didn’t pull up next to me). It’s good to be addicted to something good.
Running has given me a unique window on my neighborhood. I generally run after dark after the kids, and sometimes my wife, are in bed. As I meander through the neighborhood on my various routes, I get glimpses into the homes I pass, slices of life. I initially listened to music while I ran, and I still do on occasion, but I typically leave the player at home. A friend said she skipped the music and took her running time to think and pray; I’ve decided to do the same (though I'll crank a bit of "Achtung Baby" if I'm needing to do a bit of speedwork). Running earbudless has the added benefit of making me a better neighborhood watchman.
Running also has been just plain fun. I recently went for a run to Wrigley Field and back. About five minutes into my run, it began pouring down rain. Everyone was racing for cover, but I just kept plugging along. It felt so good. I can’t remember the last time I deliberately let myself get soaked like that (except for the time last year I climbed into my daughter’s bath completely dressed in my work clothes—it’s fun to keep your kids guessing! ;). It made for a truly invigorating run.
Well, it’s been good and will continue to be, I have no doubt. Thanks to those who’ve helped me stay hooked. Thanks to my wife who encourages me and puts up with my running clothes ("They're special 'wicking' fabrics, hon...") drip drying in the shower and late night excursions. Thanks to those who’ve asked how it’s going and offered advice and motivation. And thanks, too, to those whose examples inspire me to stay with it, like the friend who overcame huge obstacles to race again (and did well!) and the one who’d never run before but took it on for a good cause. [Thanks to you, too, general reader for indulging this self-motivational post ;)]