Why I run every day

There were reasons to skip my run this morning.

My flight from Newark to Vancouver was delayed four hours yesterday, after we boarded the plane. Nothing like flying 5.5 hours after sitting in the same seat for 4 hours without moving. What would have been a decent flight (6 p.m. landing a bit before 9 p.m. Pacific) turned into an inadvertent red-eye. A bumpy red-eye. We took off 10:20 p.m. and landed at 12:30 a.m. Pacific, or 3:30 eastern time. After clearing customs I didn’t arrive at my hotel until what felt like 4:30 a.m. my time. This made it hard to sleep, as my body was about ready to pop awake.

So I took my melatonin. Eventually I drifted off. When I opened my eyes at 6 a.m. Pacific time I was still pretty groggy. I somewhat wanted to go back to sleep, and if I wasn’t going back to sleep, I had a lot of work to do. Plus I had to be dressed and ready at 8 a.m. to speak to 1500 people.

There were reasons not to run. But in late 2016, I made a choice. I went for a run on December 24, and then the next day. After a week (hey, it was vacation) I realized I had run every day. So why not keep going daily into the new year? I would commit to running at least a mile a day.

A mile isn’t much. It was hard to argue that I couldn’t find space in my life for a 10-minute jog.

But I knew that this commitment would change the conversation I had with myself. Now the question would not be if I would run. The question would be when I would run. It is a very different discussion, one focused on logistics, not willpower.

Today, I knew that after my talk I’d be going back to the airport to fly to Calgary (for another talk). With travel uncertainties, it would be better to get the run in first.

Plus, I opened my window and saw…Vancouver. It is truly a gorgeous city. I recalled that one of the conference organizers said it was a great town to run in. I looked at Google maps and it looked like there was a trail by the water.

So I put on my running clothes and took off to explore.

It was the most perfect run. Sixty degrees and breezy. The brilliant morning sun reflected off the water The clouds rolled back and forth over the mountains. The waking city glistened against the sky and all the evergreens. I could not stop smiling as I ran miles along the trail, past the boats, into the park.

I wound up running for an hour, taking my chances with showering quickly and eating an energy bar for breakfast. I felt awake, alive.

Without my running streak, I don’t know that I would have hauled myself out of bed. But I’m glad I did, with this jewel of a morning as my reward. So that is why I run every day.

In other news: As a side note, I have also brushed my teeth every day since December 24, 2016, but no one thinks that streak is strange or evidence of compulsive behavior

7 thoughts on “Why I run every day

  1. I understand that the actual run only takes 10ish minutes, but changing into a sports bra and running shoes, actually getting out the door, then showering when you get back… surely that makes even a 1 mile run something of a time commitment. I feel like, if I ran every day, it wouldn’t be an efficient use of my time.
    I do make a commitment to workout at least 3 times a week and I plan my weeks to make sure I get at least those three workouts in, which means there definitely days when I make it happen even though it’s a PITA, because I know if it doesn’t happen that day I won’t make my quota.
    I think running while traveling is the best way to get to know a city. Many of my favorite memories of places are from a run. It’s such a great way to explore somewhere new, and you always end up seeing something you wouldn’t have otherwise.

    1. @Noemi- I often don’t shower 🙂 Hey, working from home! I refuse to shower more than once a day. If I’ve got something fancy coming up at night, I tend to run before I would have showered for the day. And honestly, there have been days I’ve run laps around the house in my clothes. Then it’s slow (more like 13 minutes) but no changing. That said..the 1-mile goals is often just to make sure I’ve changed into running shoes and started running. I almost always go farther once I’ve done that.
      I think 3x week is a perfectly good goal. And yes, I try to run in new cities rather than use the hotel gym when at all possible! Though sometimes it has to be the hotel gym.

  2. I was in Vancouver on Monday getting off our Alaska cruise and took a city and park tour before my flight. Seeing that beautiful city and its great running paths now has me thinking of doing the Vancouver marathon or half next spring.

    1. @Sandy- were you on the giant Disney cruise boat? Saw that one pull into the terminal. A cruise ship coming through Vancouver harbor is certainly a sight.

  3. Thanks for this post! It is amazing what a short run in a new place will do for our perspective. I frequently hate starting my run, but have never finished one that I regretted.

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