Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

I almost, almost rolled over and went back to sleep when my alarm chimed this morning.

But it's National Running Day!  Come on!

Once I finally got outside, I was rewarded with a great morning sky.

In honor of National Running Day, I bring you a brief summary of why I love to run:
  • You can gadget up all you want, but in the end, running is so darn simple. I was exceptionally unathletic as a kid. I failed Level 2 of swimming lessons over and over, I had trouble hitting a softball out of the infield, and I was also, shall we say, rarely among the first picked for team sports in gym class. Running is just one step in front of another, and it doesn't matter at all how fast those steps happen.
  • Time after time, I've pushed past a self-imposed limit, whether it was finishing a marathon, setting a personal best or just toughing out a workout I didn't think I could finish. Running reminds us that we're stronger than we think.
  • Improvement in running comes slowly but surely, step by step. Running teaches me about the big picture: about patience and perseverance and not giving up. Not every run feels amazing or gets faster, but over time, consistency and dedication pay off.
  • Working toward a new challenge requires a sweet balance between mind and body. You have to tune into the feedback you are getting from your body, whether it's telling you to push a little harder or that it needs a break.
  • Running is flexible.  It's cheap, once you have a solid pair of shoes. There's no team requirement or schedule to which you must adhere. Part of why running works for me is because I can do it on my own schedule, whether it fits best at 5 a.m. or lunchtime or after work. I benefit from the exercise whether I go 20 minutes or 20 miles.
  • As I've written about extensively before, it gives me the opportunity to learn, see, and explore my city in different ways that are priceless to me.
  • My run is a chunk of time that can accomplish many different objectives. Sometimes I run to have quiet time to myself or simply to get fresh air in the winter. Sometimes I run to spend quality time with friends. I can use my miles to zone out, focus intensely, think or daydream - or sometimes a combination of all four.
There you have it. What did I miss?  Runner readers, what do you love about your miles?  Did you pop outside for a run to celebrate National Running Day?

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