Monday, April 1, 2013

reflections on running

It’s been several months since our last update, as school has again taken over our lives. We’ve worked hard, but we do have time for our own hobbies. Chris writes his crime fiction and edits his blog, and I run.
a typical running scene... (thanks for snapping this, tara!)
My relationship with running has always been tense. Only occasionally do I enjoy the actual running: those rare moments of runner’s high when my feet fly and everything around me seems hyperreal. One could argue that I continue running in search of these fleeting moments, but that is mistaken. I run primarily for two reasons.

1. I care about health and understand that running is good for my body.

2. I enjoy the social bonds that come via running.

Let me be serious… #2 is the real reason I run. Ever since I began Cross Country in tenth grade, I’ve benefitted from running friendships.

During high school, training consisted of gossiping about cute boys, planning an English project, playing singing games, and lots of giggling. My college running days were spent talking about life with a close friend, as we were the only two girls on the team. And in graduate school I bonded with several fellow students over long runs around the neighborhood. Yes, I wanted to excel at running – I’ve always been competitive, and worked hard when I competed in HS and college. But I cared more about building these relationships than perfecting my racing technique. There’s something about running with someone – hearing each other’s breathing, encouraging each other, sharing a sweaty high five – that forges a strong bond very quickly.

I wasn’t sure what running at Woodstock would be like, but I’ve happily found a great locale and running community here. The actual running is tough. It’s uphill half the time, making it a real effort to move quickly, and the high altitude likewise tugs at my lungs. But the views are worth it; the snow peaks are always around the corner after a few miles, and they could energize even the most sluggish legs.

The conversations are rewarding, too. Though infrequent, I always look forward to weekend long runs with the steadfast. We recently went to Corbett National Park for a race (5K/10K/half/full marathon), and it was so fun to spend time with fellow runners. (Check out facebook for some photos!) I look forward to more of these good times, and to reconnecting with runners back home in the states this summer. Miss you guys!

love, mel

an average Mussoorie run

ready to go, on a sunny sunday morning

the first part of the run is lots of downhill
from my house to  the other side of campus

and then some uphill...

our meeting spot

today we had a big group!
and the uphills begin....

and more uphill...

the ladies, powering through!

out by kaplani (?), a small village, looking out at the next leg

arapiles -- cutest member of our team!

on our way toward brewing thunderstorms

we made it to the next village!
10km away from clocktower, mussoorie

mini-break for some H20

looking back over the hill we just ran -- neverending up, done!


  1. You can talk while running? Uphill? Without adequate oxygen? I'm impressed!

    1. ha! thanks, steve, but we are running very slowly up those hills... many would probably not call it "running" :)

  2. Aw... Great post, Melanie! Way to represent Muddy Monster in that first picture! I miss running with you. And I'm looking forward to summer!!!!

    1. thanks, christine! i'm glad you caught the midwest representation there... :) can't wait to run with you in texas!!!

  3. I can't get enough of your posts and pictures. Can't wait to see you and Chris.

    1. thanks, aunt bobbie! we're excited to see you and the fam in june, too! we'll try to be better about posting this quarter.

  4. Love this! I'm so jealous of your beautiful running surroundings. Running with a partner...or multiple always more fun. It makes the time fly by! Glad to hear that everything is going so well :)

    1. thanks, jonna! but it looks like you'll have some beautiful running surroundings in maryland next year -- congrats again on your job!!!