Running and Reading

May 23, 2012

I run every weekday morning.

I never thought I would be able to say that without adding a million qualifiers (...except when it's raining or ...unless I go to bed after 11:00pm or long as my baby doesn't wake up more than once or ... if I don't forget to set my alarm).

No, I really do think it's safe to say I run every weekday morning. (Okay, just one qualifier: unless I'm laying on the bathroom floor with the stomach flu. I'm not that hard core.)

It has become such a habit to run every morning that I might go so far as to say I'm addicted to it. Even when my running partner and dear friend, Kathy, is out of town, I still go running. And that's saying something. I never thought I could or would run without her.

A little history: Kathy and I started exercising in January 2011. We were both pregnant and wanted to stay in shape. We started with P90X in the living room on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We exercised through both our pregnancies and resumed soon after our babies were born. It was then that we switched to a Monday-Friday, 6:00am schedule.

Anyway, when Kathy can't run with me, I still get up with the sun (or before the sun as the seasons may be), put on my running shoes, and run through the sweet-smelling streets. (Side note: this really is the best time of year to run outside; it's a privilege just to be outside when the mornings are so heavenly. I feel sorry for all you runners who wait until 9:00am. You are missing out.).

When I have to run by myself, I take my iPod. But instead of listening to music, I listen to books. It distracts me and makes the time pass so quickly.

I usually change up my route from day to day because I get bored easily. And I've noticed something interesting. Sometimes when I pass a certain house or a specific street corner that I've run past before, a scene from a book will flash across my brain. It's so crazy. It might not even be an important part of the story, but for some reason it got logged away in my brain and is permanently linked to a specific location.

For example, I listened to Once Upon a Marigold last summer. I didn't particularly like it, and I'm sure I would have forgotten all the details by now except that when I run down a certain street, I'm suddenly back in the part of the story where Marigold and what's-his-name are sending letters back and forth across the river.

I just find it fascinating the way the brain connects things, and how something that I thought was gone long ago can pop back into remembrance if it's triggered by the right image or smell or sound. It makes running even more of an adventure and is my own personal testament that running is not only good for my physical health, but my mental health as well.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been a listener of books, as you know, but after reading this post I'm tempted to give running & reading a shot. I used to ride my bike to work in the early morning and it really is the most beautiful time of day!


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