This week, my attitude towards running has been as unpredictable as the weather (seriously. WHAT is going on with this weather?). I desperately want to do it, and then I can’t be bothered. Let’s face it, my experience is the opposite of most people’s at the moment: instead of getting easier, each run gets a little bit harder, and I get a little bit bigger. My teenage self is delighted with this irony, and wants a top that reads ‘This run isÂ ironic‘ to show how cynical and aware she is.
I played the word-association game with the word ‘running’ to try and untangle the complex web of emotions. That, and the word association game is always fun. Â I admit -some of this was during a rainy evening when IÂ didn’t go running, but some of it was during a really nice 6k along the River Trent.
So for me, running isâ€¦â€¦â€¦ (drum roll)â€¦…
There are so many times my mind has wandered during a really long run, and I come back with my life sorted out without feeling like I’ve even tried! Worked out a new pole routine, worked through some work stuff, worked through my latest emotional drama by playing the word association gameâ€¦ #winning. Â It gives you space to think and get your life in order. Then the only thing is putting your realisations into practice when the run stops!
Yep. This one needs no introduction. Running definitely equals cake. I’m sorry if that’s not 100% fitfam or fitspo or fitspiration or whatever. But if you work, you can reward yourself, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
Nothing says romance like when your husband runs at the same pace as you, even when you’re 90 seconds slower than usual. As well as being quality time, there is less sweat too. Who needs a candlelit dinner for two when you can run together WITHOUT sweat???
Try running on a new trail path the day after you seeÂ Jurassic World and convincing yourself that there aren’t any dinosaurs hunting you down. And then imagine yourself having to say ‘clever girl’ like Robert Muldoon when the raptors finally reveal themselves. It will make you run faster.
Nothing beats finishing a run – especially a run you didn’t want to go on. You feel revitalised. Also, nothing beats smashing the goals on your training plan, or finding out that you can run that extra 0.5km after all. There is something unique about the running-induced endorphin high: you have done somethingÂ all by yourself. No gym equipment, no team mate, no assistance other than the support provided by your shoes and the modesty provided by your clothes. Dude, you own the world when you finish a run.
Linked to the point above: who KNOWS what you are capable of? Why not put it to the test? Anyone who’s signed up to a race knows the sick but also exciting but mostly sick feeling of committing to something you’re not sure you can doâ€¦ and speaking of which, look what happened yesterday:
As Â a teen, I remember one of my friends saying she loved going for a run on a hot day, and then begging her mum to take her to the pool. At the time I thought ‘are you forÂ real? Do you know you can close the curtains and watch X Files too?’ because I was such a cool teenager, if you couldn’t guess from my ironic comment earlier. But now I get it: it’s linked to the satisfaction. Once you’re done, and you have that shower, you feel the cleanest and healthiest you’ve ever felt (since the last run). If you can time it with the endorphin hit, then you’re pretty much ready to change into your SuperHero costume and go kick some Velociraptor butt. And you canÂ still watch the X Files with the curtains closed.
Running can change your mood, your outlook, your lifestyle, and dare I say it, your life. Rather than sapping your energy, itÂ gives energy. I can leave the house with a face like a thundercloud and come home floating on rainbows. Honestly – I’m not a believer in magic, witchcraft or the dark arts of Harry Potter. But there is something magic to running and I think you can spot it in each of the points above. If you need any further evidence, I present exhibit A:
When you don’t feel like going – when sitting with the curtains closed watching X Files seems the more attractive option – it’s worth getting out there. Even for 10 minutes. To experience the magic of running, and give yourself time to sort your life out, and to imagine running away from dinosaurs.
And what does running mean to you? What does it give you, do for you, how does it change you??