What I Miss Most About Running (But Not in a Whiny Way)

During a typical break from running, whether a day or a week or a month, anyone close to me can tell you that I can become grumpy and sour. When I realized that I’d needed to take more than 3 days off due to this last injury (a still unconfirmed leg issue that an MD suggested could simply be a form of tendonitis — no big, if handled properly), I resolved to keep me cool.

I have the rest of my life to run, I told myself. Take the time off now, while it’s muggy and hot and gross, and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite time of the year — fall — without any pain.

Fine. You win this round, brain.

As of Wednesday, I’ve been 8 days run-free. In some ways, I feel like a recovering addict. I’m irritable and tired. I got sick (probably unrelated, but you’ll be hard pressed to convince me of that). It’s only recently, however, like as of Wednesday morning’s restorative yoga class at Jivamukti, that I realized how much I really, truly, genuinely am beginning to miss the one thing that so reliably greeted me (almost) every morning for the past 6 years.

I don’t want to whine; and I don’t want you, my readers, to read this in a whiny tone of voice either. Were you? Well forget it. Re-read it, for that matter, with a more positive and uplifting attitude.

(See? Be happy. Do it. Go.)

My ultimate hope is to attempt one of the shortest runs in my life on Friday: 1/4 of a measly mile. Until then, for my own sake and sanity, let me take a walk down memory lane — or 5th Avenue, if we’re going to be technical — and recall the things I miss most about my beloved morning friends: the pavement, the sun, the trees, and even the New York City haze.

(Remember this commercial, set to The Turtles’ So Happy Together? Play it in the background. Because, I can’t seem to get it out of my head lately.)

So what do I miss most about running (but not in a woe-is-me way)?

I miss the feeling of waking up and wanting — no, needing — to run. In an effort to avoid non-running depression, I’ve convinced myself that, at least for the moment, until I’m fixed, I don’t need it. Now, I’m desperately in search of that need-to-run feeling that hits me before I even think of brushing my teeth.

Central Park. Because what’s not to miss about this?

I miss the clothes. Don’t get me wrong. I love working out in my sports bra and booty shorts from my living room floor. (Sorry for the visual, but not sorry at all.)

I miss my running clothes though. I miss my mangled, tie dye socks…

…my comfy shorts (including the one’s I just acquired from Noah’s these-are-too-small-for-me pile) and my sweet purple kicks.

I miss my Sparkly Soul headbands (which I really don’t need when working out in my apartment, though I suppose I could wear them).

I miss the triumphant grime. This includes my ever-growing pile of sweaty, smelly clothing that currently seems stunted at the bottom of my hamper.

I miss the post-morning-run shower. Ahh. Even the sound of that makes me feel so fresh and so clean, clean. Slightly cool in the summer, slightly scalding in the winter, I love my post-morning-run showers. They’re insanely delicious year-round.

I miss my alone time. This revelation hit me on Wednesday during one of my favorite yoga classes. After being sick all day Tuesday, but really needing to break a sweat on Wednesday, I decided to hit up Jivamukti’s restorative Spiritual Warrior class at 8:10.

While I love the uniformity and general peaceful nature of the class, something I could have done without is Wednesday’s instructor. I know he was just trying to be helpful, but I really do not appreciate when someone comes up to me while my eyes are closed and shouts breeeatttheeeee deeeepllyyyy, and then proceeds to inhale very loudly next to my ear, as though I wasn’t sure what he meant. With that single ujjayi demonstration, I decided that I was very much ready for the alone time afforded by my morning runs.

To be fair, I really did enjoy Wednesday’s yoga class. Not only did it allow me to keep up with my whole just-because-you’re-not-running-doesn’t-mean-you-can-be-lazy campaign, but, after dealing with a weak immune system for the third time since January, I really needed something — anything — to help me unwind.

Jivamukti’s spacious studios and stained glass windows are a great place to start the healing process, that is if you’re near Union Square and find yourself teetering on the edge of a panic attack. Best of all, the heavily-breathing instructor played awesome beats — including Tupac tunes sans words so that we wouldn’t confuse the lyrics of Thugz Mansion with his instruction. It worked.

So there you have it — a few of the elements I miss most about my morning runs. On the bright (I mean, brighter — since I’m not complaining) side, these aren’t necessarily things that I’m mourning; I’m simply looking forward to their return in the — fingers crossed — near future.

  • What do you miss most about running when you can’t?
  • Do you like or dislike when yoga instructors chime in?
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13 thoughts on “What I Miss Most About Running (But Not in a Whiny Way)

  1. I miss the feeling of meeting a challenge!! I don’t feel like I push myself that hard in other aspects of my life so when I don’t run I don’t get that overwhelming feeling of accomplishment! I took up biking but it’s not the same!!!

  2. I’m also injured right now and I miss exploring my new neighborhood. After turning back to walk home on a few runs, I miss building my speed and my mileage. Headed to the docs next week because this leg thing will not go away!

  3. This one definitely hit close to home with me too. I’m in the process of finding an apartment, and dealing with a bunch of other stressors, so I decided to voluntarily take a bit of time away from running too (just until things get settled and I have more time to dedicate to training)…and sadly, I miss it. It’s best (for both of us) to just wait this one out…but it’s tough, and you captured that so well!

  4. Hang in there girlie! From experience I know that having this break now and taking that step back will help you appreciate this sport so much more when you get back in the game and realize why you started running in the first place.

  5. I would like to start a routine of running myself. I would like to experience the environment and the life outside my apartment. Love how you miss the whole running thing, it makes me like to start my running plan more. Take care with your leg though.

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