Four simple lessons I've learned from Scott Douglas's 'Running Is My Therapy'
Well, this will be a little different than your regular posts. I am highly motivated by music when I run, so what I've been doing is incorporating some dance moves while I run. This might include clapping (The Cars-Let's Go has a great clap sequence), alternating arm positions in a rhythmic way, side-stepping, adding a few hops here and there, throwing a few Rocky punches out, and running in a zig-zag pattern to break up the linear path monotony! I might even belt out a few tunes. You see, I used to care about what people think, and then I realized that running is for me and I've got to do what feels good even if it looks a little bit crazy. I imagine that some of the surprised looks I get from people passing by in their cars are followed by the thought, "Ummm...I'll have what she's having?".
I put my clothes out the night before, so they're ready and visible when I get up in the morning. I go out early, since it's too hot in Southern California for me to run later in the day. Although I enjoy my friends, I get my best benefit when I'm by myself; finding my own pace, listing to my breathing and footfalls and just enjoying the morning. The rest of the day automatically falls into place once I've been outside.
You are so right that running can help improve mood. That is why I try to incorporate running into my day. My weekend distance runs are especially therapeutic. I often start the run in a very negative mood, but by the time I pass the six-mile mark, I feel noticeable improvement. By the end of a 12+ mile run, I am tired, but I feel like I sweat out a lot of stress and general angst that built up. I always tell myself at the end that I need to do this way more often...
My happier place run is around a 7+ miler weekday and 10+ weekends. Today I ran in one of my all time favorite places - Forest Park in STL. I trained for my first marathon here. It felt amazing to conquer hills with ease at 50 that we’re just dreadful at 29!! (Thank you ATL hills😂). And while the first loop was kinda miserable (heat 🥵 & a later start than I prefer) I recognized early it was more of a mindset issue & I could continue to focus on the discomfort and what wasn’t (me being almost done if we had started earlier) OR I could embrace being in a favorite place, doing a favorite thing, with my favorite person. I chose the latter and churned out a negative split on a weekday, vacation 11 miler. 🙌🏼 Now I shall enjoy my Imo’s pizza 🍕
Thank you, Terrel! I was at a stagnant place with running before Covid19. With your challenge of running daily, I improved my time by 3 minutes on my 5K, and made it for 26 days in a row!! I've leveled off now, and had some injuries, but the new personal record still stands! I'm excited for the current challenge to train for November..and the comradarie I hope to experience with everyone. Let's do this!!👍🏃♀️
Thanks Terrell! I read this just before leaving to run by the ocean. I always appreciate my beautiful surroundings but you reminded me to really be joyful about them, and about the fact that I have a healthy body that can run!
One realizes how social we might be after all during this pandemic:)
I am on day 42 of running at least 10k a day. Although still experiencing some signs of anxiety, the daily trail run is most certainly helping to keep the waves of anxiety under a degree of control.
I feel like you read my mind. Nice to connect:)
Great article, by the way!
Running improves my mood almost always, but if I run outdoors and pay special attention to the beauty, (sky, plants, view, breeze), it helps even more. Also, when I finish, no matter how I did, it helps me to remember how fortunate I am that I have the type of health, body, and fitness that allows me to do this.
I'm late to the party but sometimes that's how I roll! ;) I like to run in the evenings. It's a way for me to burn off all the built up stress of the day. If I don't run for a couple of days, I feel the stress build up, and know I won't feel better until I can release it through a run.
Also I'm not much of a morning person. I really like lazy mornings and productive evenings!
I'm still trying to figure out what works best in my new location here in North Carolina. It's much more humid than I am used to. And my canine running partner doesn't seem to like it very much. I've only been doing short runs (3-5 miles) so far, and I think I'll have to start leaving my dog at home. I'm excited for the half-marathon training plan we're doing as a group!
Loved the article, by the way!!