HOW WAS YOUR FIRST WEEK OF THE SUMMER RUNNING/EXERCISE SEASON? Did you start a streak? Begin the Run-Walk Across America virtual trip? Set up a schedule of 5K and 10K races over the next months? Build a training plan to get stronger and faster for the fall? Or have you not yet found the perfect type or set of activities that will set summer apart from the rest of the year?
MY SUMMER RUNNING/EXERCISE SCORECARD:
1) At-least- one-mile a-day running streak: today will make 28 days.
2) Run–Walk Across America: finished WEEK 1; made it to Hood River OR; am running AND walking the miles across the continent to stay injury free (not overtrain) and enjoy some of those miles walking with others.
3) Frequent 5K races; I re-calibrated my 5K pace by running this distance race on May 30; race schedule not completely set up, still working on it.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT SUMMER RUNNING/EXERCISE? Had you ever joined the local library branch summer reading club when you were in elementary school where you kept track of all you had read in a self-competition? Signed up for the next level of swim lessons at the local public pool (the most senior status one could attain at my pool was Life Saver II) or joined the swim team? Selected up to be a park or club leader, responsible for supervising and running the games and craft activities for the little kids in the neighborhood on the weekdays? Hunted for summer employment that was designed to end a few weeks before school started? Picked a succession of seasonal fruit and vegetables for pocket change? Gone to camp or been a camp counselor? These are old-fashioned activities from my childhood. More modern structured summertime activities might include attending sport and music camps, and participating in theater productions, Vacation Bible School, or recreational league sports.
Parents and teachers seemed to be all over us to investigate, sign up for, and participate in SOMETHING that would keep us busy (younger set), or make a few dollars or improve a skill (older kids). As I look back, those kinds of experiences are what I fondly recall as some of the best of my carefree youth. The ACTUAL AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT ENGAGED in those planned, summer-specific activities was quite small (one or two days a week, perhaps one full week).
SUMMER IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET BACK A BIT OF THE MAGIC of having a season just for fun IN YOUR RUNNING/EXERCISE LIFE. Yes, some activities need to be spontaneous to be magical, but others require a degree of planning ahead. Much of the excitement is in the anticipation and preparation; the joy is in the performance; the reward is in the accomplishment. As in childhood, your commitment to summer exercise needn’t constrain work, family life, or other enjoyable pastimes. If you look you, will find something to schedule and complete.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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