Hi. My name is Valerie Christensen and I am a binge runner.
What does this mean exactly? It means that my running is not routine by a long shot. I will go most of the winter without running at all because I despise treadmills and always prefer to run outside. There might be an unseasonably warm day here or there that I’ll take advantage of, but that is it. However, as soon as Spring brings the warmer weather, my itch to run is so great that I will run for days and days in a row. For a little while. The next week I might only run one day. Then I will skip two weeks. Then I will run three days in a row. Then I will skip another week. Then I will only run once a week for three weeks. Then I will run four days in one week. Then three days the next week. Then zero days the following week. And on and on I ride this running roller coaster until winter comes again and the cycle starts over.
Everytime I run though, it is an extreme high for me and I often wonder why I wait so long to run the next time. Especially when I have runs like I did today. Today, I had The Perfect Run.
I am extremely blessed to work where I do. My school is right on the Hudson River which gives me immediate access to the park that stretches for miles along it. I am also fortunate enough to work for a company that facilitates and encourages physical activity. Plus, since we deal with drool, spit-up and poop all day (ewwww!), my coworkers and my babies aren’t offended if I spend the rest of the day smelling like sweat. I try and take advantage of all these things by running on my lunch break as often as I can.
Today, it was 68 degrees. Not too hot and not too cold. Today, it was the perfect temperature.
No matter what the temperature is though, if the sun is out I am usually dying before I get 10 feet into my run and shade is often hard to come by. Today, the sky was perfectly overcast.
Sometimes the strong winds off the river give me relief on those extra sunny days, but often they become so brutal that I feel like I’m going to blow away. Today, there was the perfect light breeze.
It started sprinkling ever so lightly, which made me a little nervous as I feared for a downpour (something I’ve unfortunately been caught in before). Today, the sprinkles stayed just that, sprinkles, and it was perfectly refreshing.
With everything in bloom, the sights and smells were so wonderful it was almost a sensory overload. The bright green, newly sprouted trees, and all the pink, purple, orange and yellow flowers were blooming and beautiful. The smell of the flowers was even more amazing. I loved it. It was perfect.
I was trying to decide how far to run. I hadn’t drank a lot of water that morning which was my only concern about pushing myself. I usually run up the bike path and then back down along the river. I got to where I’ve been turning around lately and told myself—It’s perfect out here. You can go further. Just keep going. So, I gave myself a goal to make it to Pier 25. It was a run I did often last summer when I was at the peak of my binge running. I told myself I could do it today. If you get too tired on the way back you can slow down or stop, but you have to try.
I thought about giving up and turning around at every opening I came too. I tried to convince myself that I had run enough. But I kept telling myself—You’ve made it this far. You can go farther. Just keep going. And I did. I made it to Pier 25.
As I expected, the way back was not easy. It was actually extremely tough. I was regretting eating so soon before I ran. I was wishing I had drank more water before I started. But I kept telling myself it didn’t matter. It was the perfect day for a run and I was going to make this the perfect run. I told myself I wasn’t going to stop until I got back to where I started. And I did. I kept running until I got to the exact place I began. I had finished the most perfect run on the most perfect day and everything in that moment was perfect.
“The Perfect Post-Run Red Face“