There’s nothing better than enjoying beautiful scenery and (literally) a breath of fresh air than while running.
So, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I did get out and run today – yay! Also, I had my best run in a looong time; pr-wise, that is. Today, I ran a 5-k (practice run, not an actual race!), in 30:34. That’s better than a 10-minute mile, which I generally run on the treadmill. Which I’ve been doing a lot lately, because it’s been so cold and snowy here. I got started out planning on taking it easy and doing a 10:00/10:30 pace, but I was almost done with my first mile (which felt ridiculously slow), only to find out that I had run it in 9:34. Oops! After that, I tried to tell myself to slow down, I’m coming back from a cold, I’m still really tired, etc. but the inner Lis said, “wouldn’t it be cool if you finished your run in under 30 minutes?!” So of course, I decided to push myself and try to set a personal record for a practice run.
I’m honestly not sure what my pr is for this, because I didn’t used to keep track of this stuff (I might be able to look it up on Daily Mile if I really wanted to), but now that I have a Garmin Forerunner 210 that hubby gave me for my 30th birthday, I can keep track of my times more easily.
Which leads to the bad news…I’m one of those people that does not like to read directions. I’ve barely read the directions for my Garmin since I got it, opened it up, and headed out for my first run when I got it a little over a month ago, and now I’m kicking myself for it. After my run, I hit “reset” because in the past, my watch has told me to hold down this button to save info, but this time, it erased the info instead (which, of course, makes sense, because DUH! It says reset). I wanted to go back and look at my splits, but unfortunately, now I can’t do that. Luckily, I did take a photo my time at 3 miles, so I have a little memoir from my awesome run, but that’s it. Oh well, better luck next time…I’ve learned my lesson to read the instruction manual from now on before using any of my running devices.
You know you love running when…you think about it non-stop, whether it’s something you’re able to do, or something you’re unable to do (like, sick). I was thinking about how much I LOVE running today while I was out on the road, which made me decide to put together a list of the 10 Things I Love About Running. So now, without further ado, here it is:
1. I love the way it makes me feel. There’s nothing better than a good runner’s high. Who needs drugs?!
2. Fresh air is wonderful. It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in Massachusetts (56 degrees!), and I enjoyed every single breath of fresh air that I took in today. Perfect running weather!
3. The scenery. I love being able to take in good scenery while on a run. I absolutely loved being able to run down the street and take in the snowmen and snow angels that my neighbors’ kids had made in their yards, the Christmas lights, and even Christmas music that my neighbors had blaring in their front yard (we’re a pretty holiday loving neighborhood!). You don’t get to enjoy this type of stuff in the same way while in your car.
4. The calorie burning. I’m not gonna lie…I do love the fact that I don’t have to worry about what I eat as much as my non-running friends do. When I’m running more miles, the only worrying I’m usually doing is making sure that I’m taking in enough calories to make up for those burned!
5. This kind of ties in with #1, and some may think I’m kind of messed up, but I do love the feeling of sore muscles. It lets me know I got a good workout!
6. The peacefulness and tranquility of it all. Sometimes this is the only time that I have to collect my own thoughts – I always feel like I always seem to be able to work through any problems I have in my mind while I’m running.
7. My self esteem. Every time I finish a race, run a little bit farther, or a little bit faster, I feel better about myself. I guess this kind of ties in with the whole runner’s high thing, but this is more about the fact that accomplishing something that is HARD, like running, makes me feel like I can take on the world. And the whole “running is a solitary sport” thing helps me gain a sense of independence, as well.
8. It helps me connect with others. Yes, I just said that this is a solitary sport, but it can also be a sport that helps build camaraderie as well. Since we graduated from college, Steph (the other half of this blog who is currently tackling the holiday season one crazy shopper at a time – she works for Target) and I haven’t gotten to see each other as much, but running has given us a reason to stay in touch and see each other more frequently than the occasional wedding or baby shower. I’ve also run many a 5k with some of my other friends who have decided that they wanted to try running out for the first time, and am now getting to know and learn about many other runners through the blogosphere.
9. The health benefits. A study recently came out a couple of years ago saying that constant exercise is actually the cure to the common cold. I would have to agree with this; when I’m getting more exercise (especially running!), I feel that I’m less likely to get sick. Also, when I first started running, my doctor told me my cholesterol was high. Since then, it’s decreased dramatically. I could go on and on about the health benefits from running, but I won’t.
10. Running is (err, can be) so inexpensive! Sure, we have a bunch of gadgets that we feel like we need, we tend to buy a lot of running clothes, and you have to buy new sneaks seasonally, or sometimes every other month, depending on how much mileage you put in, but in my humble opinion, this is one of the cheapest sports out there. I started running again when I was 25 (oh my God, I can’t believe it’s been that long already!), and one of the reasons why I chose to get back into the sport (as lame as it seems to me now) is because I didn’t have a lot of money, and needed something to do with my extra time. I’ve always been the type of person who needs to be involved with sports, and since my other sport of choice (horseback riding) is so expensive, I decided to buy a new pair of sneakers, lace up, and start running again!
For those of you reading this who don’t run, I hope this list gives you a reason to start!
And for those of you who do already enjoy running, let me know what YOU love about it!