Not everyone likes running and even some days I dread it. The rainy season in Seattle usually dictates if I get out or not – and most days I choose not but as the weather gets nicer and my annual fall marathon draws closer I realized that regardless of all the dreadful thoughts I have toward running, there are some things that keep me coming back.
- It makes me eat better – When I am running I seem to feel better and look tighter. I don’t think all of that can be totally attributed to the mile though. So many article and books have proven that running countless mile after mile can actually gain weight, so this has to be a little about my diet. When I am thinking about my next run, I am also thinking about how to make it the least dreadful. One time I tried to run 10 miles after eating half a bag of Cheetos and a pizza, and that has to have been the worst experience of my life. Since then everything I eat and drink the day before and immediately after my run is carefully thought about how my gut will react and if it will make me feel heavy. Its not about loosing weight, its about feeling good as I am and with out that goal at the end, why would I not eat a bowl of Spaghettios and Mac and Cheese for every meal??
- I have a reason to get off the couch – I have a cat, and after work one thing I look forward to is couch time cuddles with my kitty. I could sit there all afternoon. Most days I loose track of time so when I only planned for one hour, it usually turns into 4 hours. What I usually forget is that a 40 minute run or even an hour run still leaves time for snuggles, but if I am not running for a goal I have a hard time talking myself out of “how about tomorrow”.
- It keeps me social – I love running and could talk about all the ways running has inspired or changed me but when I am not running for a reason I forget why I love it. I lose track of all the places my runs have taken me and I don’t want to tell anyone about it. A hobby that has influenced me in so many ways all of a sudden disappears. Recently I joined a local running club and have been surrounding myself with other people who just want to run be cause it is fun and it has reminded me how fun and social running can be.
- I drink my water – Water keeps me feeling away and fresh throughout the day and pretty regularly, when things get busy, I forget to drink it. But when I am thinking about my run later, I am also thinking about how much it sucks to run dehydrated. IT SUCKS… so I always remember to drink more water. Which in turn helps my skin, my mood, my appetite, and my sleep.
- After three miles … “That feeling though” – When running, just after I have warmed up and am at my steady pace, I feel like I could run forever. I am always trying to find ways to extend my routes without going in circles. All I want to do is run. This feeling is so easily masked when I have no “light at the end of the tunnel” or no race to hype me up. Part of the journey is the excitement of a check point. Until my life settles, and running becomes something I just do because it is like brushing my teeth, I am going to keep signing up for races because damn it I just love that feeling. It brings me so much joy and pulls me out of all the negative. I am reminded that perspectives can change everything so why not see the good rather than the annoying or the bad.
Some of this may seem crazy, but who cares. The conclusion I have come to is that I run because it helps make me my best self and I feel like the world could use a little more pick-me-ups rather than put-downs.
Let me know if you ever wanna go for a jog with me, cause we all know I am not hanging up my shoes anytime soon!