Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I Run

If you know me in real life (or on Twitter) you probably know that I am training for the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in October. In fact, you probably wish that I would stop talking about it all the time. Training for something this big is a bit all consuming- especially for a first timer- but I want to talk about something else running has given me outside of the wackadoodle idea that I can complete 26.2 miles in a few short weeks.

This summer as I’ve been out racking up the miles along the lakefront I’ve realized what a positive effect all this running has had on my mind in addition to my body. I know all about endorphins and the fabled “runners high” but what I’ve experienced is more of a calming effect. When my girls were home all day for summer vacation I relished the evenings when I could lace up my running shoes and head down to the bike path for some quality time just for ME. Now that school has started again I find myself putting off washing those breakfast dishes in order to go jog along the lake. The laundry can wait another hour or two before being tucked back into everyone’s drawers. Sometimes I use this time to plan out what I need to take care of for the day. Sometimes I think about long term goals and things I want to accomplish in the future. And sometimes I just zone out and don’t think about anything at all.

I often hear moms talk about how important it is for us to make time for ourselves. To stop saying “yes” to everything that comes down that line and learn to be a little bit selfish now and then. I can remember nodding my head in agreement with this sentiment but I don’t think I’ve ever really taken those words to heart enough to put it into action. I think I’m finally beginning to understand how those couple of hours early on a Saturday morning can leave me more refreshed and ready to deal with the rest of the weekend. Even though my family kind of thinks I’m nuts when I head out for another 10 miler I also know that they wouldn’t like to have a frazzled, stressed out mom at home. I’m not saying that mom doesn’t make her occasional appearances but overall I think her visits are fewer and far between.

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