Running means a lot to me. A good morning run will change my entire day and if I repeat it day after day then my body and mind transform to something better. On mornings when I don’t run, I feel down, I drag through the day without energy and motivation; I feel tired and resort to artificial means to make me go, like coffee. On my running days, I don’t need any caffeine. My heart rate is up, my mind awake, and my body ready to take on the day’s challenges, both physical and mental. During the run, I think. I sort out problems, go over upcoming tasks or meetings, or dream up new ideas, some or which I have successfully implemented. That running hour is a perfect ME time. Sometimes I have unique encounters since in the wee hours when I am out, animals are often still active. I learned that armadillos take pleasure shuffling around in moist grass. Rabbits, startled by my sudden approach freeze, which allows me to admire them up close. I truly enjoy the peacefulness of an otherwise very busy street. I never run with music in my ears, mostly as a precaution because I am quite alone at that time, but I also like to listen to the stillness around me. All day I am surrounded by noise, so this is a nice change. The feeling of exhaustion following the run quickly changes into energy once I step out of the shower. Although my weight does not change from a day without a run, I see myself heavier, fuller, pants tighter around the waist. Following my run, I feel slim, I use belts to keep my pants snug, and overall experience a sensation of being fit and in shape. Running also changes my nutrition. My appetite longs for leaner, healthier foods. After 6 miles I am not in the mood for coffee and donuts, but rather stand in the kitchen and toss fresh food and protein powder into a blender and sip on it in my car (sometimes I also spill it and then that’s not so much fun – blueberry on khaki …. Not a good day). And then, usually it kicks in when I get to work, after I lock my car and walk through the parking lot into the building – I feel my legs tighten and I know I have already accomplished something great that day while its only 7am. I walk into the office with high spirits, motivated and happy. Yes, running gives me happiness. And all day long, this sensation stays with me. In the afternoon I have a little sleepy phase where I may go and hunt down some chocolate but know I don’t have to feel so guilty about it. And when I drive home and see all the evening runners on the trails, I relax and tell myself – I am already done. I can hit the couch with my book and enjoy the rest of the evening, or I can do some upper-body exercises to tone and strengthen. I don’t have any trouble falling asleep at night, nor do I need any additional fiber intake to get my bowels going. I love running – it keeps me healthy, alert, improves my performance at work and restores my balance which I need at home. Not only is running the quickest way to drop a few pounds, it’s also an excellent workout for the heart.
Tomorrow will be a running day.