I had a bad day yesterday. It was crushing. After bawling for a few minutes, I decided should just go for a good long run because it never fails to make me feel better and clear my head. On the run, I saw Mont Blanc behind lush, green fields and thought “god, I love this.”
Here’s why I love to run:
- There are no shortcuts. What you get out of it is what you put into it.
- I am a nicer person when I’ve run all the piss and vinegar out of me. I swear it’s true, just ask him.
- I love how train running forces me to be in the moment. To avoid roots, holes, etc. I must be hyper-aware of my surroundings. My brain can’t make grocery lists or worry about trivialities. That being said… While I am thinking about getting up the hill, my subconscious works on things.
- Running clears my mind. I solve problems, write blog posts, prioritize…
- I am almost a
midgetlittle person. There aren’t many activities where I get to feel physically powerful, running is one of them. Catching (and dropping) a couple of big, strong guys running up a giant hill yesterday brought me my first smile of the run (FYI, Switzerland isn’t flat).
- You don’t have to be pretty or dress up. Most of my favorite things to do necessitate a shower and don’t require makeup. Running, cycling, hiking, painting, skiing, gardening…you get the idea.
- Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to run. Even when my day is bad, if I am still healthy enough and safe enough to have the opportunity to run. It reminds me that I am pretty lucky.
- Gettin’ high. Who doesn’t love themselves some runner’s high?
- You don’t have to wait for the gym to open. You don’t even need a gym membership. There’s no fancy equipment. All you need is a good sports bra (or two if you are double-bagging) and you are off and running…literally.
- I love being outside. It is a great way to experience beautiful places. Some of my favorite runs have been on vacations, but I
could probably waxhave waxed nostalgic about my high school cross-country course too.
- Running has taught me how to break down a big task into smaller manageable ones. A marathon training program is a series of smaller activities that add up to something huge.
- Energy begets energy. It’s true.
- I have no natural gift for running, but the longer I do it, the better I get. I am one of those who will have to age into her Boston Marathon qualifying time. I’m okay with that. I should be so lucky as to be the last woman
- I love to eat and would be overweight if I didn’t exercise. Period.
- Better nutrition. Running also helps me to make healthy choices. I may not be smart, but I learn from my mistakes. Eating fried pickles (dipped in copious amounts of ranch and bleu cheese) and sweet potato fries (dipped in honey mustard) for dinner the night before a long run was a mistake I will only make once. I don’t eat as much crap when I know it will feel like it (yes crap, a pile of steaming poo) on the next day’s run. Decent food nourishes me and allows me to have the energy, the stamina to do long runs.
- The camaraderie. In Geneva, I have run by myself. Our incessant traveling has gotten in the way of joining a weekend running group. It is better for the blog, but worse for socializing. In North Carolina I used to gleefully hop out of bed well before dawn to go meet my running group. I am not a morning person and can’t function without a cup of coffee, but even without coffee I would be excited to go (and not just for the caffeine in the GU’s).
- It’s a challenge. Challenges are good for us. They teach us how to push ourselves beyond our limits. Running has taught me about strength, how to push myself, that I am capable of more and how complaining doesn’t help (even if I still do it). Trying something new and pushing beyond our comfort zone, even if it is hard, is good for us. It can also be habit-forming tackling one challenge makes me want to tackle others.
- I am always happier at the end of the run than at the beginning. It is (almost) never because the run is over. Running is a great stress reliever.
- I love the sense of accomplishment. Even if I did nothing else productive during the day, knocking out some miles is a measurable, quantifiable accomplishment.
- It is something that I do for me. I like to help others, but running is something I do because I love it. There aren’t many things (or weren’t until we started travelling so much) that I do just because I want to.
- I love a good project. Training for a race, particularly a marathon, is definitely a good project.
- It’s easy. I am short and have no coordination. You don’t even want me in right field. Any sport with a moving ball is out of the question. Running = a sport for the uncoordinated.
- It is a great way to explore. I have learned how to navigate Geneva and the surrounding area not by studying a map, but by running its streets. I am constantly intrigued by what I see. Sometimes I even run back with a camera to take pictures of cool stuff for the blog.
- It is supposed to be good for my health.
Running here, I get to see more men in spandex.
- Who doesn’t love an hour (or more) with a rockin’ playlist?
Sorry, the photo above is an old pic. I didn’t bring my camera. I should have. Yesterday was clearer and even more beautiful.