I feel like a racehorse, in the chute, chomping on the bit. Waiting for those doors to open. Any second now….
That’s exactly how this week has felt as I start to build again. Your body takes 3 weeks to heal from a marathon, even after the pain has gone away, so it’s important to build back slow. I ran 5 miles yesterday and just felt so darn good that all I want to do now is run 5. I keep negotiating with myself, can I run 5 again today IF I run it super slow? And who is this person now who is excited to get out the door? Which got me thinking….Why do I run?
- I think first and foremost, and a lesson learned in the beginning of Covid when I was a stressed-as-hell-elearning mom and NOT running, is that it helps me mentally. I have time to think on runs, heck I have had some really great invention ideas on runs (most involve getting a slushie into my mouth but inventions still the same). I get outside, and no matter how much I don’t think I need the great outdoors, that fresh air and big world in front of me is like a reset. Another lesson from Covid quarantine. And the physical stress on my body relaxes my body and brain, it’s my form of meditation.
- Running is me against me. And I’m competitive. I keep thinking about this and I think my biggest competition has, and always will be, myself. That little silver perfectionist thread that runs through my body, I think that’s where it comes from. I have high expectations, which is unhealthy in my opinion and will shoot anxiety into me more than anything can. But perhaps running gives me an outlet to let me be competitive, and if we also apply #1 above, can help me with all of this expectations nonsense. With running, I like to see how far I can push myself. And I really enjoy seeing improvements. I still will never forget the day I ran all 3 miles WITHOUT STOPPING. That was 10 years ago and I still remember it!
- Because it has taught me I can do hard things. Running can be hard. And it teaches you things about yourself. It has taught me I can push through. Running can be such a mental game. I’m always breaking out runs into smaller chunks to get through. I’m at 5 miles, just a couple more and you’re at 7 and that’s half way! Just take one step at a time. I need to apply that to my life.
- I feel strong. While running doesn’t give you a lot of those vanity muscles, I feel strong. I feel fit. And I dare anyone to race me.
- It’s efficient. If this list was in order, this one might have to go up a few notches. This is one of the reasons I started running (and #2 is why it stuck so fast). I wanted some form of exercise and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I think yoga is great but it was just too slow for me and I wanted something that would give me my bang for the buck ( where did that saying even come from?).
- It’s convenient. I can just walk out my door and start running. I don’t have to drive. I don’t need a lot of special equipment. Just some good running shoes, some non-cotton clothes, an app or watch to track miles, something to hold my phone and I’m off.
- I run for food. If you promise me we will go for a burger after our run, I will meet you anywhere.