Getting my ass out the door

Why is it sometimes so difficult to get my ass out the door and go for a run?

It was sunny in Philly, and breezy, and I had a medium length run planned with a lot of hills the first four miles and then just enough after that to keep it interesting. Basically, a slow-paced and relatively easy 14 miler.

Why, then, did I sit at the desk in my sister’s den and procrastinate for over an hour? Why did I read news articles I didn’t care about and then wander around the house doing nothing but wasting time?

When I finally started my run, almost two hours later, I immediately fell into a smooth rhythm and great the entire time, strong and focused and happy.

Why, then, the stalling, the procrastinating, the ass-dragging? I do the same thing when it comes to writing. The two things I love to do the most in life and yet I so often avoid them, circle around them, regard them with a cautiousness that’s almost absurd. It’s as if I’m afraid to begin, afraid of what I might discover of myself, afraid of my own strength, my own determination.


Isn’t this cool? It looks like a rope but it’s really part of a tree branch, hanging down and twisted.

Yet, however long it takes me to get out the door, the runs are always worth it. Even bad runs. In fact, I savor the bad runs, I enjoy them in an odd way, enjoy the way my mind toughens and keeps me on track, and forget how my body might protest. “Run,” my mind orders, and my legs, no matter how sore or heavy or uninspired, do their duty and move.

I wish I could say the same about my writing, which doesn’t offer the same rewards–no writer’s high, no happy chemicals flooding my head, no rocky and beautiful trails, etc.– so it’s easier to avoid. Right now I have an essay due for a large and prestigious publication and I’m stalling because the longer I procrastinate, the longer I can avoid admitting that writing this essay scares the hell out of me.

But forget writing struggles. I’ve been logging some awesome miles in Philly, where it’s still green, even in the first week of November. What a luxury for someone from Alaska!


This is the small park that I run through to reach the larger park I run through that connects to the towpath along the Schuylkill River.



I love running over these tree-lined streets near where my sister lives. We don’t have trees or streets like this in Anchorage.


Look! Little tomatoes, still ripening. In November. I may have stopped a snacked on a few, hee, hee.

It’s going to be such a shock to return to Alaska on Monday, and snow and cloudy skies and 30-degree temps. But I’ll be with my man, and my dog, and I’ll be able to swim again, and hit the trails and see moose and birch trees and mountains, so it’s all good.


Downtown Anchorage, from the Coastal Trail. Seeing this picture makes me terribly homesick.

This week’s stats:
Monday: Cross-train: 45 minutes uphill treadmill
Tuesday: 13.5 miles
Wednesday: 9.5 miles; 4.5 mile walk with my sister
Thursday: Rest; 5 mile walk with my sister
Friday: 14 miles, lots o’ hills
Saturday: Rest; 5 mile walk with my sister
Sunday: 9.1 miles; 4 mile walk with my sister



2 thoughts on “Getting my ass out the door

    1. cinthiaritchie

      I know! I never though I’d enjoy spending time in a large city but Philly has a piece of my heart (except for the traffic in Center City, which is nothing short of hideous). I love the trees so much, and I also love how much easier it is to run on city streets and city trails. They are so smooth! I can run so much faster, and farther. Almost every run felt effortless. Returning to the snowy and icy-rutted Anchorage trails is going to be tough, lol. Glad you’re doing well and getting your run on with good friends (and 22 miles, too!). Hugs,


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