Damn it Feels Good to Be a Runner, and My Weekly Summary!

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After reading Michele’s post on Monday and Lisa’s comment (and follow-up post) I was thinking about my own comment, then on Tuesday I was out for a run and just feeling amazing, and thinking about how great it felt to be able to get out and run … and the scene from Office Space came into my head …

Because for me, every run is a gift, a joy – even the ones when I don’t want to get out of bed, when it is too cold, too rainy, too windy or whatever. It doesn’t matter if I track my runs or not – they are all equally valid and all important to me! While I have said before that ‘mostly the runs are boring’, they are also all great! Especially during the warmer months – you will NEVER hear me complain about the warmth …

1. Endorphins

Last week someone used the Legally Blonde quote in a post, but I couldn’t find the post. Here is the article:

“I just don’t think that Brooke could’ve done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Elle Woods

You go out for a run, come home and feel simultaneously exhausted and energized – that is a chemical process at work, and it can fuel your entire day, and really make a difference in how you make your way through life. I have said it before, but I believe that ‘running me’ is the best version of myself!

2. Tastes Great, Less Filling

Another thing I have talked about in the past is how running regulates my eating: when running I crave healthier foods much more than when I am not running, and everything about my eating habits seems to operate at its most efficient.

All of my medical tests and checkups show how my health is excellent and all of my levels are doing well and my heart is incredibly efficient – and I attribute much of this to running. Running helps me forge the path to fueling myself rather than just eating. And my fuel is very important to how feel and perform.

3. Health Benefits

We know that running is good for us in very many ways, but a recent article at Runner’s World details the benefits we can get even at relatively low volumes. From the article:

It concludes: “Running, even 5-10 minutes a day, at slow speeds, even slower than 6 miles per hour [10:00 minute pace], is associated with markedly reduced risks of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease.”

Carina posted the satirical look from The Onion, which also said that running gets you the hate of office-mates and random people on the street, which is at least somewhat true for many runners!

4. ‘Runner’s High’

This is REAL! This is more than just the endorphins pumping, it is the fun that makes no sense to others, the joy in putting in a ton of miles, of learning to deal with chafing, of adapting our bodies and minds and schedules to fit in more time pounding the pavement. And yet it is all fun, as noted at Running Boston and Beyond last week.

The high can happen during the run, before or after, and is that constant affirmation of our love for the sport. It is something I feel all the time and a big part of what drives me as a runner!

5. ‘Cheap Therapy’

I don’t really ever like mixing medical terms in non-medical contexts, as I find it a bit disrespectful to those who are going through therapy. But the reality is that running provides stress relief, the ability to focus, to think and work through all sorts of problems in a way unlike anything else I have ever done. I have joked before how my kids would ask if I’d gone for my run when I got snippy – and it is so true!

Bonus: Another T-Rex Competitor article

Danielle is back! This time it is ‘themed races’ – basically these tie in with ‘fun runs’ that have become so popular recently. Any excuse to get out there and have fun!

As for the scene …

My Running Summary

Coming off of my nearly 21 mile Saturday and long challenging hike on Sunday, I was exhausted but ready for a good week of running. I knew I’d be taking Friday off because we had to leave the house early, but wasn’t too worried! Let’s take a look:

Sunday: ‘Rest’ day (yeah, right – major hike!)
Monday: 9.75 miles
Tuesday: 10.1 miles
Wednesday: 8.75 miles
Thursday: 9.75
Friday: Another ‘rest’ day touring Syracuse Univ.
Saturday 14.75 miles

My weekly total was just over 53 miles! There are a couple of highlights – Tuesday’s amazingly awesome run was just one of those times when I didn’t want to stop, and Saturday’s ‘fast half’ … as I posted on Instagram, when I looked at my Magellan Echo after the run I was surprised to see I was at the same time as my last half marathon!

Do you ever have to remind yourself of your love for running? How was YOUR week?

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20 thoughts on “Damn it Feels Good to Be a Runner, and My Weekly Summary!

  1. Running is the best therapy. I was working with an athlete yesterday and he was telling me that he was dealing with some family issues and his own weight issues. He said that training for a marathon has been perfect for him because no matter what happens each day he is able to get outside with his own thoughts and deal with them in a much healthier way. As a side note, he also lost 125 pounds in the past few years with the help of running. I think that is one of the best benefits for me, is the way running allows me to just go and deal with my thoughts and problems. And of course, it does keep my diet in check….thank goodness!

  2. Thanks for the shout out! And as for the running is therapy – a couple of years ago when I increased the intensity of my running, I was also going to “real” therapy on a twice monthly basis, and going through my thoughts and reflecting while running helped me a lot more than my actual therapy sessions. I think one reason for this is that running can occur on a daily basis so you quickly get into a “flow” state of reflection on a regular basis while therapy is often once a week or less, so the continuity doesn’t match what you get running! They definitely complimented each other though!

    Great running week once again, always happy to hear about the joy running brings to people 🙂

  3. Awesome week, and thanks for mentioning my post! I love all these reminders of why its important to appreciate running. And it is definitely therapeutic, and could be considered a form of therapy! One of the interventions we use for clients coping with depression is “activity scheduling”- basically planning to do things that will make you feel good! I wish I could get all my clients to become runners or find something equally satisfying and positive (but since I work with kids most of them enjoy physical activity in other ways- its just trying to get them to be active at all rather than just play video games!)
    I also agree that I eat better when I am running! It has been mostly my desire to become a better runner that has led me to try new ways of eating, which has definitely been for the best!

    • Thanks Lisa – I always shy away from calling it ‘therapy’ because that is a very different form of activity, but I can see it as a theraputic activity.

  4. Typically the only runs I don’t love are races since I tend to feel a lot of anxiety & pressure doing them (I’m working on this.) Running is very similar to yoga for me. I get to be myself, clear my mind, focus and be present. I also get to be outside & enjoy the seasons like I wouldn’t otherwise and get the incredible sense of fulfillment in improving in an activity I never was able to do in my life until I lost weight a few years ago. So yes, I love running!

    • My wife was talking about how different I am now about things since I am focused on the running rather than the weight … it has helped me improve more than the rest of my years of running, and as a result my weight has followed along.

      I know that races are a pressure-filled thing for many … and because I don’t do many I also feel pressure. No easy way around it – unless you either do more to get used to them, or take pressure by removing focus on pace and time.

    • Thanks for sharing – I always love hearing stories about how people integrate running in their lives! 🙂 Glad to see you back to blogging as well!

  5. As soon as I saw the title of your post, I laughed and had the song in my head. SUCH a great movie! And so true, damn, it feels good to be a runner.

  6. I definitely have to remind myself sometimes. It’s like that quote, “The only run you’ll regret is the one you didn’t do.” I always feel better afterwards, but sometimes it’s a challenge to get my butt out the door.

    • To be fair my last half I ran conservatively because the goal was ‘flat pace’ instead of ‘best time’ … but since it was still a PR by a couple of minutes, yeah I am pleased 🙂

  7. Pingback: Weekly Faves 8/7/14 | Running Southern

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