Saturday, June 6, 2015

Who says you can't replace running?

Every runner does!  And all those people are correct.  I will never be able to replace running.  The act of running, the joy of running, the meditation of running, the workout of running.......these things are simply not replicated or replaced with any other activity.  The possibility of me running again is greater than the possibility that I won't run again.  However, I have finally come to terms that I may never be able to run, or ride a bike, again.  Although this brings me much disappointment and sadness, if I don't accept this, then I will never move on.  I have been chasing the idea that I will make significant improvement every time or at least every week I try to run.  I have also been chasing the idea that I can find something to replace running.  Finally I accepted both of these notions as false.  And now, I have more room to grieve the loss of running and stop comparing everything to running and my former lifestyle.  Now, instead of thinking that I am doing kettlebell until I can run again, I see it as a whole new sport for me that is entirely different from running.  I no longer think of the benefits of kettlebell training as it relates to running, but just as its own fascinating sport with lifestyle benefits.  I get on the treadmill less and less to test out my running legs and I find that I am much less disappointed and saddened that I see next to no improvement.  I am going hiking most weekends with my poles to use on the uphill and then pick my way down with some sort of combo of jogging and walking.  I see it as hiking on the trails and not a lesser version of trail running.  Owen and I bought tennis rackets and so we can play tennis together.  This has been fun.  We tried riding a tandem to see if I could do that, but I was not able to do that without no riding a bike for me for now or maybe ever.  Good thing I didn't buy that new bike I was thinking about.....
Ironically, the bus I take to work is cancelled for 8 months.  It's about 2.5 miles for me to get to work, so I decided to use the ankle express.  Walking to work is actually the best option for me to get there the quickest.  So, perhaps I'll dust off the running shoes and walk to work the I'll do some sort of walk/jog on the way home while enjoying the summer.  I'll see it as locomotion, not as running.
Speaking of locomotion, I have really spent some time thinking about what running has done for me, particularly on the trails.  Here is what I came up with.  Human powered locomotion, such as running or walking, really has the ability to put our place as humans in perspective.  Think about it....when we get into a car or ride a bus, or get on a plane or train, the travel is done mechanically and at a much different pace as it would if it were human powered.  If you go 60 miles on the road in a car, it takes about an hour if you are on the highway.  You can get pretty far.  But walk or run 60 miles and the distance means something entirely different.  The effort to which is took to go 60 miles by foot, or even bike, is much greater, the time it takes to go that distance is much longer and it means, for me, so much more.  My place in the world feels much more accurate when it takes my own physical effort to get to my next destination.  I may have lost some of this perspective while I was in the midst of training for 100 mile events, ironically, but now that I can reflect on what that process meant to me, I will never see it as the same if I am ever to get back to it, or at least some version of it.  
For's exploring news things as my lifestyle shifts.  As the old joke goes, what is the best way to make God (or insert your word here) laugh?  Tell her your plans!
Some fun photos!

Got up at 4:30 on a Saturday to hike to the top of Mt. Tennerife

Still foggy on the way down, but so beautiful and quiet

Anyone for tennis, after coffee?

Rising above the clouds to McClellen Butte

Ivy gets a ride from her mama.

These 2 are the lights of my life.  Breakfast outside for them, they love it.

Attempting the tandem.  A fun excursion.

More beautiful PNW
Let's see what the summer brings!