I got such a running feeling this morning. When I first got up, it was raining outside, so instead of running, I went back to bed. Later in the morning, though, I went for a very nice jog in the Union Bay Natural Area, which is on the University of Washington campus, which is where the 30th annual CAJE conference is, which is where I am. The "natural area" is fairly small, and some students and others from UW are working on restoring it by planting native trees and shrubs, and by mowing down the non-native blackberry plants that are suffocating the native plants. The area is, not surprisingly, on Union Bay, which I got a glimpse of a few times along the trail. It smelled like wet mulch, which is not an altogether bad smell. There was an area that looked like it had been burnt on purpose, and that wasn't a great smell, but overall, it was fantastic. On the way back, I picked some plump, juicy, shiny blackberries off of a bush and ate them. Yum!
Even less frequently than that running feeling, I decide that I want to be a runner--a person who can just pick up and run, anytime, anywhere. Although I had a flurry of running activity during college (sophomore year? junior?) I've never been a runner for very long, because it always ends up hurting my knees or my shins. I once asked a doctor about it, and she unhelpfully said, "Sometimes exercise hurts." So I stopped. Also, there is no pleasure in running when the weather is bad, which, in Boston, is more often than not. It would take a fair amount of hard work to get into good enough shape to be able to run regularly, and sometimes, I feel like it isn't worth it, because there are so many times when I don't have any desire to run at all. During times when I've been in shape, I've combined running with less-painful forms of exercise, like the eliptical machine, stairmaster, and bike. When I'm into exercise, I like doing it all, but running does have a certain special appeal. It can really be exhilarating. Part of me really wants to get in shape enough to be a runner. Someone who can run. For more than, like, seven minutes.
I don't know that I'll ever be a runner, though, because when I see runners pounding the pavement, I often think they're a bit crazy. Maybe that's part of what's appealing about it.