Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Creature Features

on September 15, 2010

I’m a creature of habit.

My life, and in particular, my mornings run on the power of routine.  When I was in high school, waking up for the day was a real challenge, just ask my mother, whose job it was to wake me up.  I would drag myself out of bed, get dressed and rub the sleep out of my eyes, then drag myself downstairs for a bowl of cereal before going to school. 

Unfortunately, an adult can’t function this way.  Well, an adult that has a job, at least.  And now, it’s not just me, I have a dog who really appreciates a walk in the morning (and I really appreciate not having to clean up doggy messes) so I have to get up a little earlier.  So I designed a morning routine that allows me to walk the dog, wash my dishes and still have time to sit and have a cup of coffee or two before I have to leave for work. 

But I also have some bad routines.  I got myself into a cycle of inactivity.  Yes, I walk with my dog, but for a long time, I wasn’t doing any other regular exercise.  I’ve been slowly gaining weight and feeling more and more sluggish since I left college. 

This year, for some reason, I decided to change.  There were several catalysts for this change.  Lots of people I knew were competing in marathons, triathalons and bike races.  My mom started a ‘boot camp’ class.  I read some great books on the biomechanics of running.  My feet started feeling itchy and ready to hit the road, a completely unfamiliar sensation. 

I started out slow, irregular and unsure.  I was running but there was nothing making me do it.  Then I realized I needed some reason to run, or at least to get started.  I signed up for a 5k this month and began a training program to get me ready.  I bought new shoes, I bought a watch to time my runs, and I started blogging about it.

Vibram FiveFingers Sprint, my awesome running shoes.

I made it part of my routine.  And it worked.  I’m getting to the point (I’m not there yet) where I like to be out running.  I like how I feel when I’m done, but it’s still a challenge to get myself going.  But, three times a week, I take the dog and hit the path. 

I still get passed by almost every runner, but my endurance is building; I’m running 9 to 10 miles a week.  I still have a hard time motivating myself out the door, but I do it, and I’m almost always happy I did (that one day, in the rain, was pretty freakin’ miserable, but otherwise, it’s been mostly good).  But more than that, I feel like I belong out there, running with the runners. 

It’s just what I do.

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