It was snowing again this morning, dang it. But it wasn’t horribly cold, and it wasn’t sticking all that much. It was Bagel Friday, and I was determined to get a run in. I wore something I never do on runs: a baseball hat. I figured this would help keep the snow out of eyes. It did – but of course it stopped snowing only minutes into my run.
I usually like to do 6 miles on Friday. I cut it a tiny bit short this morning, doing 5.6 miles by taking a slightly different route. Partly because it was still dark, and the 6 mile route has a big, twisty hill that I was a little nervous about going up on the slick streets. Partly because my toes and fingers were cold. The wet spots on the ground had splashed up onto my shoes in mile 1, and now my toes were wet. I bought Shoe Hoodies weeks ago, but have I put them on my shoes yet? The answer is no. You need to attach the adhesive at least 24 hours in advance, and I keep forgetting to do it in time.
I was also super hungry. I’d had 2 Clif Bloks, but since we have bagels at work on Friday mornings, I like to wait until I get to work to eat breakfast. I admit, I spent a lot of the run imagining shoving a Superhero muffin into my mouth. Shoving.
I didn’t go that fast – the newly-fallen snow made it a little slippery – but I was fine doing this run at an easy pace. Slower than easy, actually.
It’s hard to run slowly. Mostly because it makes it that much longer before I get to eat. I enjoy running, but sometimes I also want it to be over. I wrote something like this on here once: I both love running and the thought of stopping running.
I kept thinking about how cold my toes were, and how the slippery ground wasn’t super easy to run on, and how restricting the baseball cap felt, and how all I wanted to do was eat. But I could only do one thing: keep running.
Of course, I eventually made it home, where my toes warmed up, I took off my cap, and got ready for work where, three hours later, I finally ate a delicious everything bagel with WAY too much butter.
Running has done a lot of great things for me. One of those things is it’s made me a more patient person. To an extent, you kind of have to be a patient person to even start running. Results do not come quickly, whether that means getting faster, feeling stronger, or losing weight. It’s a slow-ass process. When I started running regularly in my early 20s, it took me months to get to the point where I didn’t feel short of breath – where it was as comfortable as walking down the street. (Note: I had to slow way down in order to make this happen.)
Where I’m at now is a whole different level. I started running again in earnest almost four years ago. Even more seriously a year later, and even more seriously a year after that. And two years after that – which is now – I have a whole new, higher set of goals. Whatever I’m able to accomplish at this point is a result of literally decades of practice. And I still have a long way to go.
To be a runner, you need the patience to be able to wait things out over the course of not just minutes and hours, but days, weeks, months, and years. In a way, you can’t be too focused on long-term results, even though they will happen. You have to enjoy running in the moment, knowing that despite any discomfort that sometimes goes along with it, you’ll feel better later, and you’ll be happy you put in the work.
God, I love Fridays.