Why Run? Part 3

It’s been a while since I posted anything, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. I was between colds and decided to go for a run instead. Now I’m back sneezing again (thank you, darling daughter) I thought I should take the time to jot down a few more thoughts on why running is so great.

Last week I passed my driving test (Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a BIG event as I have a pathological fear of men with clipboards) and afterwards I went for a run with my amazing driving instructor, Jinni King. This isn’t as weird as it sounds as we’re good friends and are running the Exeter 10k together in a few weeks. We did some interval training, chattering and laughing our way around 3 miles, and it struck me what a special time a run can be. On this occasion it was social time between two friends, but on other occasions I have really appreciated the quiet time to be in my own head.

Running time (or gym, or yoga or whatever) is special time for you to do something specifically for you. I love the feeling of freedom running brings. I love feeling the wind on my face and the opportunity to go, quite literally, off the beaten track. I love being outside in the fresh air, and being able to stretch my legs out. It’s amazing in spring and summer when everything is coming to life,  and luckily, I love running in winter when it’s cold, wet, and I feel like a frickin’ superhero, splashing through the mud, relishing rain, grime, and sweat. A hot shower after a winning run in the cold is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

But away from the life affirming re-connection with nature blah blah, the “special time” aspect is incredibly important. There are few things in life that you can control, but if you work hard and train carefully then your running (swimming/yoga etc) WILL improve. YOU will see the difference depending on the effort YOU put in. You don’t need input from anyone else to do this, you don’t have to rely on anyone and nobody has to rely on you. You put in the work, and you will reap the benefits. There aren’t many things in life where that is true, but fitness is one of them.

Being selfish or self centered may not be good qualities in a person, but I encourage you to indulge in them when on your run. Focus on yourself, push yourself, give yourself a break, whatever it takes. Take the time to listen to your music, the stuff that everyone else in the house hates, or catch up on a podcast, or just have some time alone with your own thoughts. OR treat it as quality time with the greatest driving instructor in Devon.

Or run in a group! My mother in law swears by her group for improving her running, and she’s made some brilliant friends in the process. Go for a gentle jog so you can chat, or do lung busting fartleks (snigger) cheering each other on, encouraging and inspiring each other. Or yeah, just a chat and a post run coffee. In fact try your local Parkrun with a friend. If you like hills then I recommend the one at Parke in Bovey Tracey.  If you don’t like hills then I recommend you look elsewhere. The important bit is your workout is YOUR time for YOU so indulge yourself this week and work up that sweat.