Homework Assignment

My goal this winter is to seriously improve my running. To get started, Coach Kiki gave me some homework: I need to figure out what I like about running, and what I don’t like about running, because I’ve never really liked running and I need to change that. I started running as an adult, and am not a natural runner. The first step to becoming a better runner is to like running.

Since she gave me this assignment, I have been thinking. I figured I should start with what I don’t like. Hmmm. I couldn’t think of anything. I could almost hear those crickets chirping away in my brain. OK no problem, maybe I need some mental warming up, so let me think about what I like about running.

I love the feeling after I’ve finished a run. I love it when I run better than I think I can. I like cute running outfits. I love running with Humu. I love the peacefulness of running, being alone with my thoughts and the almost meditative state.

I love all the wildlife I see on my runs – so far the list includes too many birds to count, otters, seals, minks, various rodents, an elk, bears (best from a distance of course), a cougar (OK – don’t like that one). I love the energy I get after running. I love running when I’m in a new place, and exploring that place and seeing it from the view of my running shoes.

I like the sound of my breathing when I run. I like the sound of my running shoes hitting the ground. I like the uninterrupted time to listen to music through my iPod. I like staying in the moment when I run, and think about running.

I like it when I’m given a run with varying pace, so I have something to concentrate on. I like when I do an easy run and can just cruise along. I like running in the sunshine, feeling the warmth on my shoulders – I even like getting all sweaty. I like running in the rain, nice and cool even when I’m working hard. I like running after dark, how distractions are all gone and all I’m left with is my running.

I like running in the morning, even though my body doesn’t – it prefers to be warmed up. I like running after work, to work out the stress of the day and return home refreshed. I like how even a short run can be a good workout.

I’m confusing myself… so what is it I don’t like about running anyway? I tried thinking about it some more, and , there are those crickets again. Think harder! Well, I don’t like how my knees feel after long runs. But elevation, ice and compression are good friends of mine. Sometimes I’m tired and don’t feel like running, but if I don’t give in, I am always happy I went for a run. I don’t like that I think I have three different speeds (fast, medium, slow) but deep down inside I know they’re really “light jog”, “slow jog”, and “barely perceptible movement”. I don’t like how quickly I get out of running shape, and how much it hurts to get back into shape.

But honestly, I can’t think of a true reason I don’t like running. I think I’ve just convinced myself I don’t like it, when actually I do. On almost every run I look around and think how lucky I am to live the life I do, and how much I like running. I have been lying to myself for years… I’ve never considered myself a “runner”, but through this homework assignment I’ve realized that I really do love to run!


  1. A on the assignment. Let's hope the only cougar sighting you have this winter is a reflection in a window as you pass:)

  2. Nice reframing of your thoughts on running. Perhaps I should do the same. There are a few things like I about running - trail running through the forest in the rain for one. For me I think it's the pain in my IT bands that makes me hate it. But I don't hate hiking and the downhills kill my knees....?

    Kiki I think I need you to train me for the BC Bike Race next year!!!