I started running, really running, when I was a new mom of two. I needed a quick calorie burn and mood lifter that would get me home in time to nurse the baby and care for a newly-minted two-year old. It didn’t feel easy, but it was easy to fit in.

Years later, after repeatedly being told “You’re crazy!,” I still maintain that running is one of the easiest things I do. Every time I have to take time off (which, if you’re keeping track, has been the Summer of 2011, Summer of 2012, Summer of… do you see the pattern here?), I am reminded of how simple it is to roll out of bed, put on some super-comfy clothes, lace my shoes, and GO. No bike, no helmet, no travel, no washing-of-hair after a swim.

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Don’t be fooled–I look happy , but I’d rather be running.

I really like the gym I go to, but I hate driving there. I love to lift weights, but I don’t have room or money for a set of weights at my house. I adore yoga, but when I do it at home, my monkeys want me to teach them how to do the poses, and I just want to be IN the poses. I’ve detailed my relationship with swimming, but that thing that makes it most un-easy is total vanity–it’s my long hair, that I have to do again after swimming. Just No. Ew. Way too much work.

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I had to get up at 4:40AM to get this swim in and make it to Yoga Challenge class. See why running is easier?

So I always come back to: Running is Easy. I want to do it, so I do it. There are so few barriers to running. If I want to just go and enjoy the run, I can leave my Garmin at home. If I want to get faster, I can do repeats. If the run is rough, I can either adjust my pace or adjust my expectations. There’s just nothing about running that is inherently complicated.

In so many ways, running only gets hard in your head. Anyone who has run consistently for a period of time can attest to that. You’re body gets stronger as you run, and it becomes more and more of a mental game. If you take care of your body, it’s your mind that will threaten to get you every time. As much as I hate the forced period of rest I’ve had to take from time to time, I love the desire it builds for this thing I love to do. Once I’m running again, I can remember how I hate to be denied that pleasure if I’m feeling low on a run, or beating myself up for a bad race. I can remember that running is easy. Being out there is a gift. Being denied the joy of the run is what’s hard.

P.S. Speaking of joy–I’m running again!!! Three very difficult weeks of COMPLETE rest from anything but weights and swimming let me all better. I am just working to build up more endurance in the  very short window of the next 10 days. It will come–I’m not really having any issues during my runs, thankfully, but I’m pretty sore after the run. Lots of foam rolling, stretching and my beloved Frozen Peaz should fix that right up. *jumps, clicks heels*

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