Hello again friends!
I hope you enjoyed my
over-sharing NYC weekend getaway recap / WIAW post yesterday! It took me a long time to write that bad boy, but I’m so happy I did because I love having all those memories written down. And hey, maybe you at least can use it as a little ‘guide to NYC’ next time you visit? Just a thought 🙂
Let’s get right to the good stuff, shall we?
Today I wanted to talk about running. Yes, a whole entire post dedicated to what has essentially been my life for the past seven years. I think that fact alone makes it worthy of its own post, don’t you?
I got the idea for this post on probably day 2 of having a blog, and a few of the thoughts have been sitting in a draft for months. Then between my recent tweet and Tuesday’s daily reading of Janae’s blog and commenting on this post, I felt like today was the day to write this.
I will tell my entire running story beginning with my first voluntary run back in 6th grade (*although that is not what I consider to be the start of my running career…I took a solid 3 years of just dabbling with it every now and again until it became my ‘thing’ the summer before 9th grade), but I’m going to save that (trust me, it’s saved as a draft of bullet points) for another day because I’d rather just throw some running randomness out there today.
Millions of thoughts about running race through my head practically everyday, so these are just 5 that were on my mind today. That means this is probably just ‘Part 1’ of many more to come…
Warning: Some of these will be deep, some corny, some super random, but hey, that’s a crazy runner’s brain for ya.
On your mark, get set, GO!
1. Running keeps me sane.
Although, really it doesn’t because the fact that I’m a runner makes me slightly insane, so it all kind of negates itself, doesn’t it? Regardless, you get my point.
Every day when I lace up my sneakers and hit the trails (or pavement, or track, or treadmill…), I feel at peace. Running is my therapy. I can think about everything, I can think about nothing. I can get lost in my thoughts, I can cry, I can vent my frustrations through the pounding of my feet, I can smile, I can just be. I can talk to a friend, forgetting what my body is even doing as we get lost in conversation. I can listen to music, podcasts, the birds, or my own breath. I can run fast, I can run slow, I can run long, I can run short. I can run for distance, I can run for time, I can run for speed. Whatever I do, I always run for me.
2. Running helps me form unbreakable bonds.
(*Please note: ^ that says unbreakable bonds, not bones…I wish!)
As I’ve probably mentioned many times (especially in this post! aww), I ran both XC and track all four years of high school. The friends I made on both teams are still some of my closest friends. We became so tight so quickly because we went through it all together.
We suffered through the same hard workouts (‘800s til you drop’ was always a fun one..), felt the same pre-race jitters, talked for hours on our long runs and recovery days, pushed each other to achieve our individual as well as collective goals, sang at the top of our lungs on bus rides, pigged out at team dinners and hang outs, pulled all nighters at running camp, jumped up and down, hugged, and cried tears of joy when we succeeded (I’ll never forget the moment we found out we made it to the New England Championships), and everything in between. Sharing so many amazing (and not so amazing!) experiences helped bring us all together, and I know that those friendships will last a lifetime.
(*Sorry these pictures suck since I cropped out everyone’s face! Just trying to keep things private for them. Hopefully once I feel comfortable sharing my blog with all my friends and family, they’ll be cool with their beautiful faces being shown. For now this will have to do!)
3. Running strengthens me in so many ways.
I have always loved how running test the limits of the human body and mind. From the speed workouts, to the hill repeats, to the long runs, to the races, it’s no secret that this sport is just plain hard. I think it’s safe to say that all runners have days where we say (or at least think) “running sucks.” It hurts. It’s tiring. It’s often the last thing we want to be doing on a cold winter morning or a hot summer afternoon. But what makes us runners unique (and a little crazy!) is the fact that we just do it. We get out there because we know the second we get in that zone and find our stride, we’ll be so glad we did.
Not only is running hard on our lungs, muscles, bones, stomachs, (the list goes on…), but it’s equally hard on our minds. We can be in perfect physical condition yet never reach our goals because sometimes the hardest things to train is our brain. A lot of people will even say it’s all mental. There are times when our bodies want to quit but our minds say “no, you can do this”, and there are just as many times when our bodies can keep going, but our minds say “no, you can’t”. It’s all of those times that test our limits. When we prevail, we see for ourselves that we truly can do anything.
The feeling of accomplishment after a physically and/or mentally draining workout or race is unlike anything else. I don’t know about you, but endorphins are my drug of choice, and the ‘runner’s’ is the only ‘high’ I want.
4. Running led me to the blogosphere.
By about day 3 of cross-country my freshman year, running had already become my passion. I fell in love, and let me tell you, I fell hard.
Besides working my butt off at every practice and meet, and doing all I could to stay injury free (didn’t work), I read as many running magazines as I could get my hands on, and had practically every running website bookmarked on my computer. I loved (and still do!) reading about elite runners, discovering new tips and tricks about injury prevention (not that those helped very much…I’ll have to devote an entire post to my injuries), nutrition, gear, and more. I wanted to know everything there is to know about this sport, although I soon realized that’s virtually impossible – there is always more to learn, and a lot of that comes with experience!
One day as I was surfing the web I somehow stumbled upon Julie’s blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, and from that day on I was hooked. I was sucked into the blog world and I never want to leave. I have since discovered hundreds of other healthy living blogs, and now follow about 30, reading many of them daily.
If I had never fallen in love with running, I don’t think I ever would have fallen in love with blogging. This goes to show how running has given me so much more than just the benefits that are direct results of it. I don’t just love blogging because it relates to my passion for health & fitness (as well as food, fashion, etc.). I love it because I’ve always loved writing as well as hearing other people’s stories, and those are what blogging is really all about.
Blogging is the perfect thing for me because it combines all of my loves into one space. The blogosphere is where I feel I belong, and I owe it all to running for bringing me here. I love this (massive and still growing) corner of the internet, and I hope to become an even bigger part of it in the future 🙂
I have about 5,000 other long, serious thoughts, but I’ll save those for another day. This last one is
a little a lot less ‘deep’…
5. Running gives me super attractive tan lines.
^ Mild sarcasm…
Nah, make that heavy sarcasm.
PSA: Wear sunblock!
Wow, writing just five of my million racing thoughts (no pun intended!) on running reminds me just how big a part of my life this sport is. And to be honest, to me, it’s really not just a sport, it’s a way of life.
If you’re not a runner but still managed to read this entire post, hats off to ya! Runner or not, I hope you enjoyed hearing some of my personal thoughts on running. Hopefully it got you thinking!
Just in case you missed them, here are some of my more recent posts:
- Paninis, Nutella, Cake Balls, and Watermelon Jalapeño Juice?
- More Random Thoughts…
- Just Another OOTD <-I have a ton of these waiting to be uploaded (many of which are on my Instagram). As promised, they’ll be up in the near future (along with a ‘how to pack‘ post, and that new content)!
Now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear some of your random running thoughts. Leave them in the comments below! Come on, don’t be shy – we’re all a little insane 😉