I Ran Today (14)

R. James Miller
3 min readDec 16, 2022

This is about running…but it’s also not about running

“I’m talking about running…but I’m also not talking about running.” ~ Chris Bennett, Nike Run Coach

I’ve run 22 different guided runs on the Nike Run Club app since I started running again and I’ve heard this phrase from Coach Bennett in at least a third of them. It’s a phrase that is said any time there is a running tip that can double as a life lesson. And that’s the entire point of me writing these entries. I’m writing about running…but I’m also not writing about running.

I’m working through a lot of shit on my runs, not just physical pains and fatigue. Honestly, the physical stuff is a very small portion of what I’m working through on each run. There have been a lot of nights in the past month and a half where I’ve found myself tearing up under a specific street light in my neighborhood. Sometimes it’s sadness from whatever I was working through on the run. Sometimes it’s joy. Sometimes it’s just appreciating the beauty of an Arizona night.

Each time, I take that path through the neighborhood, I think about just sitting down on the curb under the light and letting it all out. I know the day will come when I eventually do. I just hope it won’t be the moment some punk high schoolers drive past and get a video of the crying guy for YouTube.

Tonight, there were a lot of really raw feelings with the run. I did a guided run called “Running on Empty”. I wasn’t really running on empty today, I just saw that it was one with the founder of Headspace (a really good meditation app) joining Coach Bennett. Even in this run, which didn’t really apply to my mood for the day, there was something profound to learn.

At one point in the run, the two men talked about negative self-talk. They talked about the tendency for all of us to beat ourselves up with our self dialogue. But then Andy, the founder of Headspace, said something that really resonated with me. He asked, “How would you talk to someone else who was running just like you are now if you were the coach?” What a perfect question! There is no way I would talk to someone showing the strength and fortitude to run for no reason except to better themselves, the way I talk to myself.

R. James Miller

Mental health, emotional wellness, opinion, & travel-focused writer. Writing about my weight struggles, personal growth, and wanderlust.