I have always enjoyed running. I love to be able to say ‘I’m a runner’. It has a certain ring to it. That being said, I have never competed in a 3K, 5K or even a fun run. Ever. So I am not sure that qualifies me to be a ‘runner’? Add to that, the fact that I run incomparably slower than my kids, who are 10 and 12. But I still run. Unfortunately, consistency has never been my strong suit, so I run off and on, but these days it is back ‘on’. So perhaps I am an occasional runner?
Full force, determination and focus (and part crazed) – that is how I start any fitness program. There is no ‘half ass’ about it. When I am taking spinning classes, I do them back to back. When I took up hot yoga, I did an extremely intense 14 day challenge. When I started Shaun T’s Insanity – well I didn’t last more than 2 weeks on that, but I gave it my all.
So naturally, when I started running a few years ago, I went all in.
I got the ‘Chi Running’ book, watched videos for beginners and finally ran with an instructor to perfect my form and technique. I even took up Fartlek (don’t giggle at the term -it’s an actual training method!).
I also had impressive running gear (hot pink dry-fit shirt, black running tights, headband, running belt, a motivating playlist, and a good pair of well fitted Asics). Could I call myself a runner now? At least I looked the part – right?
Most people are familiar with the term ‘runner’s high’. I too yearned for it when I ran. It didn’t come for a long time. What was it? How euphoric could it be? Turns out, it is pretty darn good. Running on the treadmill this week after a hiatus of many months, I went back full force (high pony-tail and all!). My playlist was old, but as soon as I played it, my legs gained momentum. I loved it. At one point, I think I had started screaming lyrics between breaths, as I picked up pace. Sweat trickling down my face and neck with music blaring in my ears. Endorphins had kicked in. It was absolutely the best feeling I’ve had in a long time. I was experiencing a runners high! (See maybe I am a runner?)
As much as I would love to run outside these days, experience the beauty of nature with a 6am run, and post an Instagram worthy picture, my reality is far from it. Living in Doha, Qatar, we are limited with the time we can run outside. Typically only a few months in the year. The summer is unquestionably hot and dusty. These days, we are averaging about 105 F with a cloud of dust everywhere. Hence I have to resort to the treadmill. But actual runners are probably out on the streets as opposed to the treadmill? (Does running indoors qualify me to be a runner?) But, I do enjoy it so I carry on. I am not sure what actual runners think about while running – pace, strides, splits, VO2 max? But my mind wanders off while I am running.
Thoughts I have while running on the treadmill
- Why are all the treadmills right at front of the gym in the most visible spot?
- Wait, did someone just enter the gym? Can they see my butt?!
- Please don’t pick the treadmill next to me. There are 4 others to choose from! Seriously- you had to?!
- Why am I wearing my most drab pair of running tights today? (Note to self: must look online to buy a new pair today!)
- I wonder what speed he is at? Damn! 11.5 kph? Is he sprinting?
- I should increase my speed. Go faster! Competitive nature kicks in.
- I got this!
- No. Not really. Back down to 8.5 kph
- It’s fine. He probably thinks I am doing an interval program.
- I’ve only burned 260 calories. How is this possible?
- I don’t think my heart rate monitor is working. Damn chest strap!
- My legs feel like jello.
- Oh my jam is on!
- I can go on forever!!!
- Runner’s high kicking in. Why don’t all things in life give this kind of high?
- I should really just train for a marathon.
- Can’t. Breathe.
- I’m 40. What am I thinking?
- You’re fine. Just walk it out! Please don’t let me cramp now.
- I use to be able to do 8K up till 2 years ago. What happened?
- The incessant need to bake. That’s what happened!
- Give awkward smile to the dude next to me. He is still sprinting?! Move over Chris Johnson.
- Ok I need to get off and do some planks.
- Must take sweaty gym selfie to send to my bestie or else this session doesn’t count.
- I love running. I’m coming back tomorrow!
Until next time.