I’ve always run to feel normal. Running became an equalizer for me. I didn’t run to feel good. I didn’t run to beat myself up. I didn’t only run for the calorie burn or the elusive ‘high’ we runners speak of. I ran to feel level. Balance. Dare I say I ran to feel “normal”–whatever ‘normal’ means.
Lately, as in the last 4 years, running has been more stress inducing that stress relieving. Injuries, weight gain, gait changes, lack of trails, lack of sidewalks, trails covered in snow and ice… whatever it is. Running has been a source of stress because I’m not as fast as I used to be. I’m can’t run as far as a could. Winter time has been a time for me to rehab my hip, lift weights, and get strong. This means more time at the gym and less time outside.
But some days you just have to run. Friday I had been worked up. Angry. Pissed off and unable to change the current situation in any satisfying way. I didn’t want to be inside angerly lifting weights (is that even possible?), I didn’t want to ride a spin bike, I didn’t want to do a yoga flow in my living room. I needed a rage run.
So at 6:30 pm (if you know me at all, you know I don’t run in the evening, especially after work), I laced up my shoes, I found some reflective gear, and I rage ran. 90’s hip hop in my ears, I ran against traffic because the sidewalks were/are covered in feet of snow. I ran, one foot in front of the other and controlled what I could. I kept going. With every step I felt less heavy, a little less angry, and a little more focused and in this one moment. This moment of snow, of ice, of starring down headlights of cars that are not looking for a runner in the street on a snowy Friday afternoon.
So people joke about “only running when I’m being chased by something”, well, I was doing the chasing. I was running them down. I was letting out the frustrations of the day and not letting the demons chase me, I ran ’em down first.