” I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens, Track and Field winner of four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics
I have been running for two years now and I have always run by myself. I enjoy the alone time, the peace and quiet, and the opportunity to reflect on the day, week, or month. When I finish a run, I always feel calm and relaxed. I always say that running for me is more about mental health than it is about physical health – being in shape and having more energy are just bonuses to feeling more relaxed and at peace with myself. I don’t care about how fast or how far I run, all I care about is giving myself the time to unwind. So often we rush from day to day never allowing ourselves alone time, where we can reflect and de-stress. Over the past two years, I have remained loyal to giving my body and mind the time it needs to reflect and de-stress, and I’m so thankful that I have.
Recently some of my friends have started running and I am so proud of them for doing so. I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes time out of their busy schedules to workout and devote time to their bodies and minds. My friend, Lindsay, just started running and asked me to join her this past week. I thought it sounded like a great idea, but part of me was thinking, “Hmm, how is this going to work? If I get tired, or out of breath (I have asthma, so this is common for me) and want to stop, will she stop too, or will she think I’m a whimp?!”
This past week we went on two runs together and it is going great! We are hoping to run twice a week together. I’d be lying if I said we run the whole time – we are both very chatty people, so we do a combination of walking and running! When we run we keep a good pace and still manage to carry on conversation. I feel as though running with someone helps give me the motivation to keep going and not stop when I get out of breath, as I typically do. When I ran by myself this week I also did not stop and had one of my best times I’ve had in months!
Having a running buddy also holds me accountable to go for runs. I’m typically a regimented person and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it. However, there are those days when I’m just not in the mood for a run, or I want to sleep in, or I’m tired from a long day at work. Knowing that Lindsay is there waiting for me to run with her gives me that extra kick to get me moving. I can’t help but think I should have had a running buddy all along! Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on running by myself at least once a week to give myself time to reflect and de-stress, but having a running buddy definitely makes for a fun running experience.
Do you run? If so, why do you love running? Is running more physical or mental for you? Do you run with a friend?