Saturday, March 5, 2016

10 Things I Missed About Running

In the last few months I have recently picked up running once again.  It's been an uphill battle to retrain and build up my endurance.  It's a challenge I'm happy to take on once more, but now kind of regret ever having to.  I never should have stopped in the first place, I should have always made time for running, but instead let life get in the way.

In the time where I wasn't running, I still quite often thought about running.  During some of my recent runs I've thought about some of the things I really missed the most...

1. Clearing My Head
Life likes to get in the way of almost everything. Work happens, family happens, people happen... and things just build up.  Running for me is a time to clear all that or at least try to make sense of it.  It almost seems as though no matter what problems I have at the beginning of the run, they're forgotten or solved by the end.

2. Getting "Me" Time
Running is one of the rare times that I can really get some "me" time.  I put in my headphones, start my running app, and then just forget about the rest of the world.  I don't worry about texts or anything else until I get home and it really is freeing and relaxing.

3. Seeing the Neighborhood
I live in an area that is still growing and it seems like the only way I know what's going on is by running.  I figure out what houses are being built, where new streets (and routes) are, what houses are selling or sold... It makes me feel connected to the neighborhood. There are also a few neighbors who I can almost always count on seeing on some of my runs.  We never really talk about it's still nice to see them.

4. The Races
Races... They really are a lot of fun.  Typically challenging and you might not always have the best run, but they're always fun.  From the small ones to the big ones, I always end up having a lot of fun. I still get jealous of some of the races my friends get to do and I don't.  In all honesty, it was that jealousy that got me back into running and back into the runDisney world.

5. The Medals
Let's face it, the only reason we sign up for races and train like we do is for the medals.  We run at crazy early or late times, through all sorts of weather to get that bling at the end of the race.  The feeling when you get the medal at the end... that's what it's all about!  I will say they get a little heavy and cumbersome by the end of the day, but it's hard taking it off.  All the accomplishments they represent, you have to wear them proudly!

6. Enjoying Nature
Watching the sun come up, or set... watching the cycles of the moon.  Getting glimpses of different birds, otters, and other critters.  You never know what you're going to see when you're out for a run.  Over the years I've seen quite a lot of nature on my runs and it's one of my favorite parts.  Coyotes trotting down trails and bald eagles flying ahead, you really can't beat the surprises nature has to show you.

7. Enjoying The Weather
I love running in all different types of weather.  60's are my favorite for sunny runs, but I do also love rainy days.  Rainy day runs are great for just a few miles and really let me clear my head.  I don't really take anything out with me and just let the rain wash everything away.  I don't even mind when there's a few bolts of lightenings and growls of thunder in the air.  It just makes the run more exciting.

8. Being A Runner
There's something special when you can consider yourself a runner.  Just thinking you are creates and feeling of accomplishment and pride deep within.  It also helps continue to push me to keep running because you can't call yourself a runner if you're never get your legs going and heart pounding.

9. Being Able To Eat Without Guilt
I love food... all sorts of food.  I just hate how it looks if I eat too much and the guilt will start as soon as the taste has dissolved from my mouth.  But when I run that guilt is lessened and trust me I'm definitely thinking about what I'm eating when I get home or later that day when I'm out on a run.

10. Feeling Accomplished
That feeling that you've actually put some effort into something and gotten something good out of it... Probably the thing I missed the most.  Yes I felt glimmers of it when I was just using the gym, but it's not the same when you're working towards a goal.  When you have that goal and finish a long training run or a sprint or a race and know you're a step closer to your ultimate goal... I missed that.  Even though it typically came in the form of being sore.  But sore's not always a bad thing...

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