I really enjoy running. I never used to, I used to think it was chore, hard, pushing through and keeping it in my routine only to add variety to my exercise.
I have run all my life, though not always enjoyed it. I ran when I was little, likely because my Dad and Mum did. We would go out running together or to the indoor track, it was more of a family time for me than exercise, but I was 10.
It wasn’t until I got older, around university that I started to feel running was a chore. I would do it, as it was an easy way to exercise, but I did it begrudgingly. Until recently, for some reason all of a sudden I really enjoy running and do so now 2 or 3 times a week.
I think it is the convenience of just getting up and going out the door that started me running again and there are many benefits. Other than the health benefits, such as stress relief and disease prevention; I find running is a great way to get out and have some time for myself. I can do it at any time of day, anywhere and all I need is a pair of running shoes and shorts. I even take the kids with me, as I have a Chariot running stroller. Even when Matthew is at home he comes along, either riding his bike or scooter (I have suggested he run with me but he hasn’t bit yet).
You might think that running with the kids is not really a break for me, but it truly is. They are all occupied and safe, quiet, and all I have to do is push the stroller along and get lost in my own thoughts as I do my route around the neighborhood. In fact, when I first started running again I liked having the stroller to push as it provided great balance for my arms.
I love the feel of the wind on my face as I cruise along, the steady rhythm, feet pounding the pavement. I am aware of my surroundings yet lost in my own thoughts, able to process things and work things out. It’s a great way to clear my mind and let the ideas flow. When I am stuck or feel bogged down, a run clears it all away and then I can focus again. Sure getting outside and a change of scene always help too, but there is just something about the movement of running that is quite satisfying.
While we were away on vacation last week I actually got a treat and got to run by myself, not once, but 3 times. Though I do find going with the kids is still a form of time for me, going without was even more so! In Oliver, BCwhere we were visiting my parents, I would get up and go first thing in the morning to beat the heat, because if you waited it got very hot. It was a great way to start the day, sunny blue skies, surrounded by the mountains. Morning greetings exchanged with all the seniors who were out for their morning walks as well, feeling elated and free. Just a few moments for myself, enjoying the sunshine and reveling in the beauty that surrounds me. How nice would it be to start each day like this?
Though I have not taken any running classes or programs, there are a variety of them out there that cater to all levels from beginner to advanced. Places like The Running Room and local running clubs offer programs and workshops. Clubs often provide other benefits like discounts or special prices for members, social activities and running clinics.
I would also highly recommend that if you are going to run that you invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go to a specialty shop like The Running Room, where there are staff who are knowledgable and can help fit you properly. I found that when I bought running shoes, it really made a difference in how I felt about running. It became a much more pleasant experience because I was properly supported and cushioned.
Running is not for everyone, but it certainly is convenient. And like I said I did not always love it. But now it meets my needs, provides some time for me, rounds out my work out routine (I also go to the gym 3 times a week) and provides some variety in my exercise, as that is important as well.
So if you’re up for it, give running a try. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’ll provide you some great benefits, if only the opportunity to get outside for a little while and clear your head!