Posted by: Kennedy | July 9, 2010

Sore muscles… and other thoughts from my runs

Running benefits a person in a lot of ways – physically, mentally and emotionally. Obviously, it’s great cardiovascular exercise. It helps build muscle – especially in your legs and bum. And it burns a ton of calories. It’s also THE best stress-buster out there, at least for me. There is no better way to clear my head. Plus, I just feel stronger and healthier after a good run.

I’ve heard that some people do their best thinking and problem-solving on long runs in solitude (maybe this is why Barack Obama is so adamant about his work-outs?)

However, I can’t say I’ve solved any crises while I’m out running around the neighbourhood. Hardly. You wanna know what I’m really thinking about? I tried to conjure up a list from recent memory. Nothing even remotely profound is on this list.

What I’m really thinking about when I run:

  • Why can’t my neighbours manage to shovel the snow off their sidewalks in a timely manner? (Not such a big deal right now…)
  • Why do I continue to include Pizza Pizza/Cinnabon/that street meat vendor in my route?
  • While I wait for the light to change, should I: a) awkwardly jog in place, or b) awkwardly lift up my legs to stretch?
  • Seriously people – pick up your dog’s poo!
  • I bet everyone I pass thinks I’m about to have a heart attack
  • I wish it would rain so people wouldn’t know how sweaty I am
  • Ow – blister/shin splints/tight calves/side stitch
  • Ow – at least it’s not my knee
  • I’m hungry…
  • What should I have for dinner?
  • I wore too many layers
  • I can’t believe I forgot to charge my iPod. Bah.
  • I need to invent an iPod that doesn’t lose its charge so much faster when it’s cold outside (again, a non-issue right now)
  • I’m tired
  • Hey – I’m not that tired!
  • 7 minutes til walk…
  • 5 minutes til walk…
  • 2.5 minutes til walk…
  • 30 seconds til walk…
  • Walk! YES…
  • Come on, guy texting/girl carrying shopping bags/group taking over the sidewalk… I’m RIGHT behind you. Get out the way!
  • This is an awesome route
  • I’m never running up this hill again
  • Fellow runner approaching… will they nod/smile/say hi?
  • Am I going to nod, smile or say hi to this oncoming runner?
  • Witness/experience random mishap/encounter/weird sign and think: that will make a great blog post

And that’s about it.

So next time you’re walking down the street and you see a runner looking incredibly intense and ‘in the zone,’ remind yourself that they’re probably not. Their mind has probably wandered off on some random, potentially food-related, tangent.

Oh, also…

If you saw my latest post, you’ll know that I had my first boot camp session yesterday as part of my half-marathon cross-training. As predicted, it hurt. Badly. I seem to be getting sorer as the day progresses, and I don’t have high hopes for tomorrow either. But, it was just the butt-kicking I needed to make a commitment to myself to up my strength training, ASAP.

Sometimes runners, myself included, trick themselves into thinking they’re fit just because they can go out and run for an hour. Not that this isn’t a great thing – it absolutely is. It means they’ve built up lots of endurance and certain muscles (hamstrings, glutes, calves, etc) are strong. However, it doesn’t mean they can ignore all the other muscles in the body that are just along for the ride, getting soft and weak.

For me, that’s my arms, back and core. They need work. I haven’t been getting much yoga in these days and I never lift weights. At this boot camp, I felt embarrassingly out of shape. Here I am, preparing to run a half-marathon, and I can’t even do a proper push-up? That is just wrong.

So I have a new goal: Cross-train! My new training schedule is going to include one day of the boot camp circuit (squats with jump-squats, lunges/push-up sequence, core work including planks…I’ve become horrible at these! For shame…) and one day of yoga, pilates or another strength-training exercise. Any suggestions??



  1. funny to read about all you think about when you are running!!! Strength training is such a good idea. Planks and push ups are just soooo hard.
    Guess i need to do some more weight lifting too!
    Hope you don’t get too sore! And have a great weekend! luv, mom

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