A day in the life of a runner

Alarm clock jangles in my ear: 5am.


<stretch, gaze out the window…>

Thinks:  It’s a gorgeous day. Let’s get ‘er done.

 <rustles Scott awake –notorious for “not hearing” the alarm clock go off>

<grabs running gear from the bureau, all laid out from the night prior for added motivation, changes quickly. Brushes teeth. Puts contacts in. Straps on patella straps and double-knots sneakers. Feed kitties. Waits for Scott…he’s a little slower in the morning than me.>

Thinks: ok, 6.5 miles today. That’s just over an hour. Totally doable.

We walk down our street and up the hill to our usual starting point. Give eachother a “kiss for luck” like we do before every single run. Race day. Training run day. Casual “fun” run. Whenever. We never forget it. I think it makes all the difference. 😉

Off we go. My legs aren’t happy right away – they take about a half mile to adjust from dead-asleep slumber to up-and-at-em-running-down-the-street mode. <shocking, I know>

But before we know it, we’re one mile in and feeling good. Our 6.5 mile route takes us by the river and into some great little neighborhoods with lots of scenery.

<gazes around and thinks: where are the bunnies today? Sleeping on me?>

As we continue on our way, Scott quickens his pace – he likes to run just ahead of me to keep me from slowing into my usual comfortable pace which is slower than I can run, it’s a pace I tend to stick myself into because, well – it’s comfortable. So even though I’d rather he be by my side, having him right ahead of me pushes me to pick up the pace. Or else he’ll just say “suck it up, Sally – get moving!” Which also works wonders. 😉

Before I know it, we’ve rounded the bend and made our way up the hill which leads us back around towards ‘home.’

Thinks: 2 miles left, wow that went fast.

I notice my knee bugging me a little bit so I pay closer attention to my hips, to make sure they are preventing my knees from turning in (hello IT band syndrome two summers ago!). Knees feel better after I adjust. <phew>

<gazes around at the scenery – noticing the birds and squirrels scurrying around, also seeing more life emerging from the houses in the neighborhood. *loves running as the world slumbers*>

I’ve found, more often than not, that my mind wanders a lot when I run, not on anything specific, just lots of little mini-thoughts mixed with moments of quiet. Not “thinking” per se, just moving along our path, up the hills, down the hills, around the corner.




To me, this is running nirvana – something I have worked for years to get to. And sure, we can and should work on our running ability every single day (intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs, etc.). But keeping that ‘nirvana’ feeling alive is another story entirely. It is something to be embraced and appreciated as it can disappear just as quickly as it arrives. It can be fleeting and very hard to get back. My sister is facing this right now. And I feel for her. I SO want her to find her running nirvana moment. I know she will get there, she just has to have faith. I firmly believe that.

In the meantime, I am enjoying my own nirvana moment – as a runner. Who was totally run-spired to blog this out after my run on Wednesday morning.

A day in the life of a runner. THIS is why I run. THIS is why I love it.

Nirvana moments.

40 thoughts on “A day in the life of a runner

    • Thanks babe 🙂
      My mind totally wanders – sometimes I wonder if I need to mentally record some of these thoughts for a future post, I’m sure you’d all get a kick out of the randomness of the thoughts swirling around up there!!

  1. I think I’m years away from running nirvana–although I’ve gotten a bit of my yoga heaven back! I did my first hill intervals on a cardio machine (an arc climber), and holy butt pain, Batman! But my bum looked really good after, so I’m game to torture myself some more. Posts like this inspire me to keep searching for the thing that makes me feel like this during/after a workout. 🙂

    • I love it!! Holy butt pain – hurts so good, right?? That’s the key – finding something you can stick with, that you LIKE to do and that works for you. That’s really what this post is about, finding something you love and always working on it – because whatever that workout is, it should always be work, always be a challenge.

  2. This is awesome sis. I actually felt this a little bit this morning on our ‘test run’ together. I noticed a rock wall on our run that had little rock spike looking things sticknig out of the top and realized, wow, I never look up and look around, do I? It helped me get through it and not think so much on can’t can’t can’t. Thank you sis. XO

  3. Now I wish I had run this morning!!! This is how I feel about morning runs too. No real deep thoughts, just all random and mostly about something I notice around me (like an armadillo, weird right? kind of ugly little things). And I had to laugh – I can just jump out of bet and take off too. Jason…ugh. He never hears the alarm and he’s sooooo slow to get ready. I have to set the alarm earlier just to accommodate for him 😉

    • Ha, addictive once you get a few good runs in a row under your belt huh? I LOVE that feeling!!!

      You saw an armadillo on your last run?? LOL that is SO random, I love it.

      I think Jason and Scott must be related, he literally rolls back over when I get up and seems surprised that it’s actually wake-up time, as if he legit didn’t hear the alarm clock whatsoever. Kind of comical.

  4. Such a great post! I felt this too on my run this morning…something about those early morning runs, pounding pavement as the sun comes up and the world awakes – it IS nirvana!

    • Totally – suuuuch a nirvana feeling to watch the world wake up around you. I actually prefer it (early-AM) vs running even just a little later in the morning when all the cars around me sort of disrupt the peace and quiet. Know what I mean?

  5. I love this!! I bet it will be awesome to run like this in Maine ( u have to give me some good suggestions for day trips to Maine btw)!!! I wish Aaron could run with me, at least he can rollerblade. It is great to have someone to push you. When you are back from Maine, lets find a time mabe to get together or do a blogger meetup:)

    • Maine is SUCH fun to run in – the air is that much sweeter and clearer, I swear. Maine just does something to my spirit, I love it there so much!!

      I’d LOVE to plan a blogger meet-up with you (and anyone else in the area who cares to join us). That would be a lot of fun!

  6. Chills! I think anyone who runs/has ever run before can relate to this post. When Billy and I were training for our 1st half marathon, we’d run together on many of our training runs. I was always just ahead of him. It worked well for us to not be side-by-side. I love working out – doesn’t come quite as naturally to Billy, so it was good to keep him motivated! I miss those runs! I wonder if I’ll be able to get him back out there…

    • It truly is an awesome bonding experience for us, it’s strengthened our relationship as a result, I’m sure of it. So the fact that it’s an awesome bonding experience AND we’re both running really well lately? Well, that’s just icing on the cake for me. Maybe you can get Billy out there slowly and see how it goes? Though biking together must be a similar experience for you two?

  7. ha I wish I loved running! I love being active, I DO love a good run, but I couldn’t do more than about 3-4 miles. I LOVE LOVE LOVE tuning out on a long run to my IPOD though and when I WAS once a runner (and LOVED it), I could totally relate to this post. But now? I view it more like the way I view keeping fit!

  8. This is such a beautifully written post. I love it! Like your sis I am still struggling to find my running nirvana, but I know it’s out there. Part of it is having not run for so long my knee is bugging me again. Like you I have to pay a lot of attention to my hips and posture when I run at the moment. It makes the whole experience less peaceful, and more like an exercise in concentration! The only way to get past that though is to run more. Up n at ’em!

    ps — you said oof! 😀

  9. i felt like i was right there on the run with you! so glad you are loving it right now! i’m looking forward to feeling it again, once i’m fully healed.

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  11. Oh friend…your posts about running make me happy. Not only that, but you totally make me envy the relationship you and your hubby have as runners. I think it’s a beautiful that two people can support each other in all aspects of life. 🙂

    PS: I LOVE how calming running is for you…

  12. I loved reading this! I have had a love/hate relationship with running for years but lately I am finding that I prefer running to places rather than take cabs/the subway so I think I’m definitely more in the “love” phase right now!

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    • I know – it’s almost worth running with an iphone so you could literally record those thoughts. I often come up with the best blog post ideas when I run and often forget them before I get back!

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