I ALWAYS LIKED running best when I was alone and it was quiet. Chitchat and music were not for me. When my dog was younger, she came along, but she kept to herself.
Recently, I decided to tackle a 15K race—that’s over nine miles—and I needed to do increasingly long runs on weekends. My son, who is 6, loves his bike and his Saturday Mom time, so I found myself with what I’d been avoiding for years: a chatty running partner. He was happy to shoulder the bulk of the conversation, though, with complicated stories and extra-loud singing. Spoiler alert: I loved his company.
Still, I hung on to the core of what I loved about running: It’s fuss-free. I could put on my shoes and go; I didn’t need anything but myself. (That simplicity is one reason walking is such a winner too—see our guide on page 56.) But then, disaster…in the form of run-ruining knee pain. It didn’t go away on its own (imagine that!), so things had to get fussy: I needed help. My brother, conveniently a running coach, had wise words about resting, and I got a handson course in hamstring strengthening—my knee wasn’t really the problem!—from Kym Nolden, a trainer I adore. Being pain-free after weeks of avoiding staircases was as delightful as a 6-year-old on a yellow bike singing “Doe, a Deer.” We hope you can get to that bliss yourself with “Ease Your Aches & Ouches” on page 50.
In the end, my whole “running is solitary” thing was upended, but that was the only way I managed to run the 9.3-mile race, and I am stronger and happier for it. Here’s to seeing life in new ways this spring!
Kym at the gym got me back on my feet so I could accomplish something new: running a 15K race!