I have a new addiction.

No, it has nothing to do with chocolate.

I think I’m becoming a full-fledged, honest-to-goodness runner. Moi! Who knew? I’ve always been kind of a whenever-I-feel-like-it exerciser. I’ve gone through phases of sticking with a routine, but somehow it’s never stuck for long. And I’ve never considered myself a runner. I like walking, I like aerobics, I like weight training. But running has never done much for me.

Then we moved to this beautiful community with ten miles of trails that wind through the prairie, and since (as I pointed out in a recent post) I’m motivated by beauty, I’ve had no problem getting out to walk/run almost every day.

Actually, that’s not totally true. I did have a problem when I started. I was trying to exercise first thing in the morning. Ideally, I’m a first-thing-in-the-morning exerciser. I really like working out at that time. The problem is that I also really like sleeping at that time. And sleep usually wins that battle.

So one day, about a month ago, I felt like I needed to get out of the house before dinner. (That’s a bit of an understatement. I really needed to GET. OUT. I’m sure you understand.) So I grabbed my iPhone (with Pandora set to the Pink station), earbuds, and running shoes and ran away went for a run. It was perfect timing. After a day of homeschooling the darling little moppets, it felt great to get a little time alone.

At first, I’d walk for a bit and then run for a bit, repeat, repeat, repeat. But I’ve built up to four miles, and though I still walk-run-walk-run, I run about 2/3 of it. I love it. I totally understand that runner’s high thing. I love listening to Pandora. I usually put on Pink (that angst really helps with the running), or sometimes Adele, or sometimes Dar Williams. And I run out all of my frustrations and internal dilemmas. Or run away from them. Whatever. It works. I always feel renewed afterward.

Thankfully, we have a treadmill in our office, and on days when it’s been too hot or too rainy to run outside, I’ve been perfectly content to run there. I put my laptop up on the shelf in front of the treadmill and watch a movie. Sometimes it’s one of my favorite old movies (watched “Mansfield Park” a couple of weeks ago) or often I’ll watch a documentary (lots of them about health and diet as of late – “Forks over Knives” is a great one).

It’s also worked out well for my shower routine. Now I just shower in the early evening after I get back, and I don’t have to shower in the morning, which frees up even more of my morning time. It does affect dinner (Havarti eats with the kids while I run), but honestly, our family is together for breakfast and lunch – having a dinner together every night isn’t as big a deal for us as it is for most families.

Havarti’s really been a great inspiration. He’s very disciplined when it comes to exercise, and it may have finally rubbed off on me. And since he runs, he gets it when I say I need to go for a run. You start to itch for it if you skip a day.

It’s a much better addiction than chocolate. I haven’t given that one up completely (and have no intention to), but at least I’m burning a bit more of it off. 🙂

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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