On Running

{ source }

Do you run?

Since moving to Denmark, I've started running again.  I used to run when I was seventeen, sporadically, and then after I was married, but before Isaac was born.  I did laps around our college town, and through the neighborhoods surrounding our little apartment.  I always met my neighbor on these runs, the guy who lived in the white house on the corner whose name I can't remember.  I do, however, remember the name of his dog.  She was a beautiful Airedale Terrier named Mia, after the soccer player.

After Isaac came along I switched over to an elliptical, which is not at all the same thing.  I grew to hate it, because, well you know - all that endless movement while going nowhere, in fact, while staring at the wall.  And then we moved to Denmark: the country wherein it seems everyone either runs marathons or cycles professionally.  Because Denmark is often overcast and windy, not to mention the terrain is flat-as-a-pancake in many areas, it is the perfect place to start running.

And now I'm addicted.  I kind of love it.  So I thought I'd write a post on why I like it so much, but please bear in mind that I have yet to run farther than 21 km and most days I don't go more than 8, and I'm usually rather slow (I'm going to blame my short legs).  In list-form, then:

1. It makes me feel oh-so-good, in a different way than other forms of exercise.  I love it that I can just put my tennis shoes on, step outside my apartment, and I'm ready to go - I can start immediately, and I can stop again at my own front door.  Free exercise, free endorphins, free happiness.  I tend to equivocate this feeling with the one I get after an hour of uninterrupted sunshine.

2. I like the idea that my legs can take me there.  If I had to be somewhere (or at least somewhere 21 km away), I know for a fact I could get there on my own.  I might be completely useless once I've arrived, but I could do it.  There is something so gratifying in knowing this.  I'm not sure why; I don't anticipate having to run anywhere to save a life.  Maybe it's because I never knew I could until I tried.  That, and it makes me feel strong. 

3. It's my time to clear my head.  Whenever life gets crazy, running is a sure-fire way to calm myself down and straighten my thoughts out.  I'm sure there are days I look like a complete idiot, running around the neighborhood muttering to myself about work and bills and travel plans, or whatever, but at the end of the run I don't feel quite as stressed.  Suddenly things seem surmountable again.

4. I can challenge myself.  I think I must take after my dad, because I can be very competitive with myself.  (Yes, I am going to race myself and I am going to win.)  I've heard professional runners say that the harder they work, the better they feel when the run is complete.  Which makes sense.  My list of goals for next year - our last year in Europe - include running a marathon.  So we'll see.

5. There is just something about the open road.  Look at the photo up top and tell me you don't get that intense feeling to just goTo see where your feet take you.

In the interest of full disclosure: yes, I did write this post in an attempt to motivate myself to keep running through the cold, dark Danish winter.


  1. I love running but don't get out often enough. Usually about three times a week. But I should be taking advantage of the fact that I can run beside the ocean for many many kilometres. It's hard to run when it is pouring rain and so winter requires a lot of motivation for me too.

  2. Should start running again, but with the exams and the winter at the doorstep, I just seem to find every excuse in the book not to go out!

  3. I used to run, a LOT, but had to give it up and I sooo miss it :(

    I don't think there is anything like it for health, sanity and focus :)

    (So, you can just imagine what a state I am in now, LOL!!! ) T.

  4. Can I ask why you had to give it up? I've heard a lot of people do because of their knees/ankles/joints. The last time I went my knees were killing me! Have you found anything to do instead, that gives you the same 'high'?

  5. Hey Lennart! Everytime I see your name on twitter I think "I have GOT to go to Gimle!" and then I forget. Soon!

  6. I would so love to live the ocean. Jealous, jealous, jealous. I do live by the fjord! But, it's so cold here it isn't the same. It's quite the workout running on sand! Kudos to you.

  7. Hehe well if it helps I'm there tomorrow evening :)

  8. I can't tomorrow :( I have a work meeting and then my English network group (without which I'd have very few social engagements because my Danish - and I say 'my Danish' in the loosest sense of the phrase - sucks, to be perfectly blunt). Maybe when we do finally meet you can teach me how to say the word glædelig. Because it makes me feel like I'm tripping on my own tongue.

  9. Ahh oki :) another time, and then I'll try to teach you some Danish like Glædelig :) feel free to write if you visit Gimle

  10. Goodness, I love running but don't get out nearly enough. It always seems though that when I do, about half way through, I let out a big sigh and with that release loads of anxiety

  11. I always have such admiration for people who run, I think I would probably be sick on myself if I tried! (sorry to put that in there haha) I have no idea where to start but it's something I would maybe like to try and get in to especially after reading this inspiring post! x

  12. Hi Bec, I have a few friends who did this Couch to 5k program to start running - it's laid out in this post: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml.

  13. well, aren't you just.....

    flippin' amazing.


    running sounds like such a good thing to do...

  14. running is so addictive. everyday i don't go i miss it until i miss about a week and then i dread it until i realize how amazing it is again! speaking of... it's been over a week. haha. sending motivation your way for the winter!

  15. there is something about running! i got into it after my second child, and now it's a part of my weekly routine. it's MY time, to think, to clear my head, to listen to music, to just get out and hit the road.


( hippies always welcome )