Saturday, March 12, 2011

I run because it is fun

When I started running last year, I started because I was having fun. I had just picked up a pair of Vibram FiveFinger (VFF) KSO shoes so I could do some barefoot hiking while keeping my feet protected from the ground. I liked the idea of hiking more naturally and I have hiked barefoot in the past. These new KSO's seemed to be the perfect match for me. I did a lot of hiking at first, including 20+ miles in Sedona, AZ. Shortly after I started hiking with the VFF's, I started reading about people running with them. I thought the idea was worth entertaining, and so I eventually gave it a try by adding a few minutes of jogging every once in a while to my early hikes. I quickly realized that I was having fun. I finally rediscovered an activity that would keep me active and help increase my fitness. Prior to 2010, the last time I did any running was back in 1994, my senior year in high school, when I ran Winter Track and Spring Track.

I am motivated to do something when there is a fun factor, and although the walks and hikes, and occasional bike rides that I had been doing over the last few years were fun in their own way, I found that I was having more fun by running. I could put in more miles over the same amount of time, and get more out of that shorter time. The VFF's also made me feel like I was youthful again, because they were so light, so I felt like I had a lot more energy. I found myself having fun on the trails hopping over fallen trees, skipping across rock fields, and jumping off larger trees and ledges that I may have gone around before.

In recent weeks, I had to remind myself about the fun factor as my workouts were becoming more routine and borderline boring. I was frequently stuck indoors on the treadmill or indoor bike due to wet or cold weather.When I would go outside, I would have to wear a lot more layers, and limit my time. I still had fun because I knew I was doing something challenging to myself, but the cold, rain and snow kept discouraging me. This month, as the weather is finally starting to warm up, I have been able to get out and do more of what I enjoy the most--trail running. Earlier this week, I took a fun run on the Horseshoe Trail near my home. This was a fun run for many reasons. I was running a trail that I had only hiked in the past. It felt new to me while running it. I had fun again with some of the trees that had fallen across the trail, including a few that I was able to jump. I felt like I was doing parkour (or freerunning) at times, and I probably was. It felt good and I want more of it. I look forward to the warmer weather, and to my upcoming running events. I look forward to more FUN!

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