Lucky to Run

Working in social media means everyone at work knows about my blog. Which is only occasionally weird. But it also makes for easy connections with coworkers who like to work out that I might not know about otherwise.

One of those people is a lovely man named Mike. I’m terrible at guessing age, but let’s just say he’s older than me and younger than my dad.

We met at a new business pitch a few months ago, and he apparently had looked at my blog at some point.

“So you run?” he asked.

“I do!”

Turns out he’s also a runner, but at the time, he was starting to feel some knee and ankle pain but trying to run through it.

Pretty soon after that, he went to physical therapy and now is staring down surgery next week.

Whenever we see each other in the halls, he asks if I ran that morning. Usually the answer is yes–or “no, but I’m going tonight.”

Once he became completely sidelined, he started answering “Lucky.”


I usually just smile and nod, but this morning he asked, and I answered that I’d run 6 miles last night and 7 this morning, and I did realize how lucky I was.

Lucky that, no matter how much money I blow on running, it’s still cheaper than therapy.

Lucky that I have this hobby that can be as social as it can solitary.

Lucky that I have this hobby that I can take with me wherever I go, whether to Hawaii for fun or LA on a business trip.

Lucky that I can do it for as long as I want or as short as I want, as easy as I want or as hard as I want.

Lucky that it’s every bit as mental as it is physical.

Lucky that it helps me keep the weight off.

Lucky that it reconnects me with old friends and gives me new things to bond over with long-time friends.

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The past three runs I’ve had have been amazing, and do truly make me feel lucky to be a runner, rather than that I’m just logging the runs on my training plan.

Last night, I left work a little after 7:15. I had 6 miles on the schedule, and I was hoping it wouldn’t get too dark out while I ran. (June, please come back.) I ran over to the West Side Highway, didn’t look at the pace, and just ran. I felt great, and when I turned to run back east from the path, I felt so great that I probably could have run another a few miles, were I not starving and were it not getting dark.


Today, I had 7 miles of hills on deck. I don’t usually run at night and then in the morning–and won’t do it often since you probably need more recovery time than that–but knew I didn’t feel like running at night again, as awesome as last night’s run was. I woke up a bit stiff, but decided to go for running up Lexington to the Queensboro Bridge. I forgot how hilly it is running uptown, and the first few miles were not easy, yet, for a run I wasn’t trying to push, I kept a pace I was really happy with. When I hit 4 miles, I was just under 36:00. My Garmin died shortly after this, so I’m just going to assume I dropped to 4:00 miles and just missed my Olympic calling.

I got home and was ecstatic that I’d gotten seven miles in before work–it’s definitely my longest run before work to date, although I’m going to break that really soon by doing 16 before work Friday.

Mike, you’re right. I am lucky to be able to run.

Four years ago, I couldn’t run.

I might not be able to run tomorrow.

But today, I can run, and for that, I am lucky.

What are you lucky you can do? Runners, what reminds you you’re lucky to be able to run?

42 comments on “Lucky to Run

  1. Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete

    LOVE this post. I am on a hiatus from running for the duration of my pregnancy, but I am going to catalog this post away for the days when I’m back in training and really don’t “feel” like running – we really are lucky to be able to run!

  2. Harmony

    Love this post! I feel ya on this! We are beyond blessed to RUN. My hubby was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer in his leg last fall and due to surgery…will never run again. So yeah I think we are blessed to run, walk and be alive.

  3. Cathryn @ My Heart's Content

    I totally agree with you. I do try to be grateful for every run…you never know when it will be taken away from you for whatever reason. Kristin Armstrong wrote a lovely post on Mile Markers AGES ago about how we don’t ‘have’ to run but rather we ‘get’ to run, how every run is a gift, not an obligation. I feel the same way about motherhood too. I don’t ‘have’ to get up in the night, I ‘get’ to and plenty of women struggling with infertility would take my place in a heartbeat rather than moan!!! this is a lovely post, it’s good to be grateful!!

  4. Verhanika

    Wonderful post, Theodora. We are so often bogged down with ideas of how we “should” be that to be reminded that we are lucky to be able to do in the first place is helpful.

  5. Christine

    love this, T. it’s really really amazing to be able to run whenever, wherever, however, and with whomever we want. thanks for the reminder!

    love+miss you. xx.

  6. Stacy L.

    You ARE so lucky! I woke up this morning and (as always) all I wanted was to run. But I’m coming back from injury and, as AMAZING as my body feels right now, I made a promise – to myself and the blog world (oh, accountability), that I would not run. And so I won’t. Gr. PS that purple sky looks incredible!

  7. Leah

    I am reminded of how lucky I am to run whenever I am out running and pass the man who continues to go for a “walk” everyday but in his power chair.

  8. Samantha B.

    I love this post!! It really makes me look at running in a new light. I am lucky that my body is capable of the amazing things it does everyday! Thanks for the great reminder 🙂

  9. Caroline Calcote

    So true! Last year I did about a dozen races including three half marathons. Near the end of the season I started having hip pain. It was so bad that I was limping for days. Over the summer I saw an orthopedist, did four weeks of physical therapy, oral and injectable steroids, and took six weeks completely off of running. As soon as I started back (slowly and short distances) the pain came right back. The ortho told me that might happen as I have a congenital defect in my hip. Now I have come to the realization that my running days may be behind me. I’m 43 and I really want to be able to walk when I’m 70. It’s a very hard adjustment. I’m grieving over the loss of my running life. Luckily, I can still do just about every other type of exercise, so I will be focusing on biking and swimming for cardio. Your post reminded me that I should be grateful to be healthy and to be able to work out at all. Even though I can’t run, I am still lucky.

  10. Heather

    This is a great perspective!! Right now my boyfriend has a heel injury and can’t run at all. I try to remember how lucky I am that I can go out and run every day and keep on training. It is so important to remember that we are lucky to be able to run – thanks for reminding me again! 🙂

  11. Monica

    Great post! I am probably the slowest “runner” but this definitely inpsired me to go out there tonight and do it, because I am lucky to be able to!

  12. Nicole

    Great post. I was reminded on Saturday how lucky I am to be mobile – the start of my run crossed paths with the back of the pack of a 1/2 marathon and I saw a lot of people really struggling.
    Anytime I come back from an injury (back issue, broken heel), I am very thankful for being able to run and move.

  13. Blakely

    What a great post! I not only loved that you had a great run – those are the best – but I also loved the point you made in the very beginning about Mike having problems and trying to run through them and now needing surgery. I’ve been having my own problems recently and I think that was the push I needed to get to a doctor. Thanks!

  14. Lizzy

    Aww I love this! And I feel so lucky we reconnected through running and our blog. Although I’m not running a ton lately, I also feel very lucky that I can run.

    One of my favorite running mantras that I repeat to myself on the hard runs- marathons and 20 milers is:

    “Running is a privilege.” It really is.

    I’m so happy running is going so well for you this summer!!! xo

  15. Mary @foodandfunontherun

    Love this post! I definitely think that we as runners take our sport for granted. We can do it anywhere at anytime, and need nothing for it. I’m glad that your co-worker mentioned how lucky you are to be able to run – it really put it in perspective for me. I have been running way slower than normal, and it has been a lot more difficult lately. Instead of harping on my slower times, I now know that I should just feel lucky to be out there at all!

  16. Emily N

    I am lucky to run right now. And I try and take advantage of that often. Last fall when I was in a boot I was miserable not being able to run, so I am counting my blessings along with my miles.

  17. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    I LOVE this post. Everything about it. I may or may not have cried a little. It’s so easy to get frustrated about not progressing quickly enough, or having a bad run, and forget how lucky we truly are. Thanks for the reminder! I really needed it this week 🙂

  18. Kristin

    So incredibly true! When I tore my PF and couldn’t run for over 4 months I felt lost. If I choose not to run it’s one thing, but not even having the ability is another. I say a little thanks frequently for having a body that lets me do the things I love. Such a gift.

  19. Chase

    Love this 🙂 I’m lucky I can do a lot of things… there are many people for whom even walking up the stairs is difficult. So very blessed.

  20. Glenn

    Lucky, yes. I love to run, but I think the best thing for a runner to keep running is to incorporate strength training for your legs into your routine. Prevents injury and makes you a more efficient runner. Your colleague will learn some great at home exercises in rehab after surgery. He may want to consider getting a personal trainer or running coach after his therapy. I say this from my own personal experience.

  21. Born27

    I am on a hiatus from running for the duration of my pregnancy, but I am going to catalog this post away for the days when I’m back in training and really don’t “feel” like running – we really are lucky to be able to run!

  22. Jess

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this. Such a good reminder — being ABLE to run is such a blessing, huh? I don’t ever take it for granted, especially since I’ve come away injured before, too. And I have friends who literally CAN’T run and I run for them, truly. Great post and great job on logging those miles!!

  23. Cait @ Beyond Bananas

    Love this post. I am lucky for so many things that I take for granted..
    Lucky I have a job that I love –
    Lucky I am healthy –
    Lucky we own a lovely condo –
    Lucky that I can run – workout -and do whatever physical activity I need
    Lucky I have the support of my friends and family and all time

  24. Kristina

    I returned to running after years of knee issues. Finally, after ACL surgery and months of PT, the doctor gave me the go-ahead to start running. I don’t know if I’ll be able to run for the rest of my life, but I try to appreciate every day that I do get to run.

  25. Allison@commitcomplete

    My stepdad has run 20 marathons and countless other road races. He sadly had to stop running when he went on dialysis for kidney disease. He still supports me at all of my races. His story is my constant reminder that I am lucky to run.

  26. Kimberly @ Healthy Strides

    One of my co-workers has been sidelined as well, and I definitely feel lucky to get in miles when he can’t. I even throw in a bit extra each time “just for him.” I figure I can’t whine about not planning my route perfectly, thus running 6.3 and not 6 even, if he can’t run at all.

  27. SkinnyRunner

    whenever i hear about someone young getting sick/cancer/etc, its a great reminder of the blessing of health which includes running. just yesterday my mom told me about a young local guy in her small town that has a terminal illness and its always a gratitude remdinder – i am so blessed.


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