I think you should go for a run this week. Seriously.
With the spring weather showing up in bits and pieces (FINALLY!!), I’ve gotten back into running. And it feels soooo good. While I was out on a run a few days ago, I realized that I truly love running. I’m not great at it. I’m not super fast, I’m not running full marathons…but that’s okay. Because when I’m out there, even when it’s tough, it’s magic.
With that said, here’s why I love running and believe that YOU should go for a run, too.
1. It makes me feel strong.
There’s no better way to say this, so I’m going to swear here: Running makes me feel like a badass. It’s true. When I’m out there and I’m logging miles, I’m just in awe at the fact that I can run. That my body is strong and my mind is even stronger. That in less than one year, I’ve traded in my couch for my running shoes, and it changed my life. Dramatic statement? Maybe. 100% accurate? Absolutely. Feeling strong enough to run gave me strength in all areas of my life.
2. It gives me alone time.
This is not the first time (and probably not the last!) that I’ve talked about the importance of alone time/me time/time away from the kids. Between being a wife and a mom, it’s hard to find time to be alone. In my case, I also work and do a podcast with my husband, so we spend extra time together. I can get a few moments alone in the shower (well, usually), but to truly be alone, I have to leave the house. And running is some quality alone time. Depending on how long the run is, there’s anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours where it’s just me with my thoughts.
3. I do some of my best thinking on runs.
Speaking of being alone with my thoughts, running is a great way to think, problem solve, and plan. I can map out a whole blog post while running. If I have an issue, I can think through it and start to find ways to fix it. I can plan my night, or my week, or tomorrow’s work day. My brain just goes while I’m out on a run. I love listening to podcasts while I run, since I have uninterrupted time to process what they’re saying. But there are times when I have to turn off the podcast because I’m thinking and I can’t pay attention to the podcast! I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, the endorphins, or the fact that no one’s saying “Mommy!?!” for the 27th time in 3 minutes, but whatever it is, I can get a lot done mentally on a run!
4. It’s the best stress relief I know of.
As a true type A, I’m no stranger to stress and anxiety. And yes, there are easier ways to relieve stress (like eating! Or drinking!) but neither of those are healthy and actually only add to my stress because I know they aren’t good for me. Going on a run almost immediately makes me feel better. If there’s a bad or stressful day, i can take it out on running. And running never minds. When I complete my run, whatever anxiety I was feeling has been replaced by a sense of calm and accomplishment.
5. It shows me I can push past pain and fear.
There were times when I ran my half marathon where I couldn’t decide whether the half or !the pain is great even if the mileage isn’t. I was about 1.5 miles into my run last week when my knee started hurting. I don’t know what this knee pain I get is. Some runs I have it, and others I don’t. Anyway, by mile three, I was about to give up and walk home because my knee was DONE. I slowed down and walked like 2 steps before I told myself..NO! Do not walk. You can finish this. And I turned up my headphones to the highest volume (sorry, eardrums) and let the music take me through the rest of mile 3 and mile 4. With the distraction of my music, I forgot about my knee and finished strong. I think running always shows me that I am capable of pushing past any pain or fear…and it permeates all the other areas of my life as well.
Even if you’ve never run a mile before, I would still encourage you to go for a run. It doesn’t have to be miles and miles. We all have to start somewhere. I started running less than a year ago, and I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile at that point without wanting to die. But I just kept working toward my goal and eventually ran 13.1 miles. There’s just so many benefits to running, fitness, and exercise.
I hope you’ll consider going for a run this week! Tell me, do you already run or some some sort of exercise? If not, what’s stopping you?