Running can get a bad rap for being a sport with little variety. People say it’s “boring,” or “gets old” — and to each his own, I know it isn’t for everyone. For me, though, running is anything but monotonous.
As a runner, I could address this common criticism from multiple angles. I could discuss various workouts and training for different distances. Or, I could talk about the importance of cross training, strengthening different muscle groups, stretching, eating right, and all that goes into becoming a strong runner.
I could go on and on, but one of the simplest things that I often think about is how there are many different kinds of runs.
Sometimes, you might go for a “fun” run (I know, any non-runners are probably laughing at this word choice). This entails just getting out in the fresh air to move your legs, chat with a friend, listen to upbeat music, or simply let your thoughts race without feeling weighed down by a single one. You have pep in your step, and you feel light, free, and calm. You come back refreshed, happy, and ready to take on the day.
Other times, you might go for a “serious” run, which is going out with a specific workout/pace/distance/time in mind. Due to my varsity cross-country and track background, I often take these pretty seriously. They’re tough runs, but they leave you feeling strong, confident, and determined to keep working even harder.
There are also runs in between these extremes, but I won’t bore you with an entire list. Probably the most common run for me is what I refer to as the “running away” run.
On these runs, I push myself and feel fast on my feet, but after a few minutes, my body falls into a comfortable rhythm and lets my mind get to work.
On these runs, I’m able to “run away” from my stresses, as I listen to music that matches my mood, or completely zone out and “run away” from reality for a while.
On these runs, I’m able to help my worries “run away,” as I sort things out, think things through, and gain clarity about whatever is on my mind.
When I get home, I feel like I’ve left it all out there on the trails, and I can resume my day prepared to deal with whatever challenges come my way.
These runs help me reset my attitude, strengthen my mind and body, and keep me moving forward on this path we call life.
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