Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Are You Running From?

FinishingI saw a blog post a long while ago with a question that was asked of runners on Twitter: “What are you running from?” And it got me to thinking what I’m running from.

Of course, I spent a lot of time thinking about this while running. And that’s one of my favorite things about running – it gives me time to just collect my thoughts. And I find that being out by myself with nothing else to do but think with the endorphins flowing is a great time to figure out life’s problems. There has been many a time when something has come up where I’ve said, “I need a run.” This is of course very different than in the past where I’d frequently say, “I need a drink.”

Since I became a runner, many things in my life have changed. I find that I’m drinking less. I’m paying more attention to what I’m eating. And unlike attempts in the past, it’s not that I’m just trying to eat less to be healthy, it’s that I’m focused on what the food I’m putting into my body is going to do to my ability to run.

I’m less stressed. As I mentioned before, there’s something special about being able to work out issues while running. And the feeling high after a good run, especially a long one, is second to none. I often joke to Karin that if she wants me to agree to something she should ask me once I get home from a run; I’m so happy I’ll say yes to just about anything.

Over the last 20 months, I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible. I never thought I’d be able to actually commit to running four times a week. I never thought I’d enjoy it. I never thought I’d miss it when I can’t get in my runs. I never thought I’d finish a half marathon. I never thought I’d finish a half marathon in under 2 hours. I never thought I’d finish a marathon. I never thought I’d start training for a second marathon. I’ve done things I never thought I’d be able to do.

I like how I look now. I’d reached the point of not wanting to take off my shirt and dreading having to buy an even bigger pair of jeans. I loved having to take my sport coats and suits in for tailoring. I love being able to buy “Medium” shirts. I love buying clothes that show off my body. Although updating the wardrobe has been expensive, I’m perfectly OK with it.

So what am I running from?

Well, put frankly – I’m running from feeling like shit.

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