If you are friends with me on facebook then you are likely to be familiar with my running photos. After every run I snap a photo and post it to my profile. This one is from today after I completed a 4 mile run. I'm in the midst of training for several races, including the Black Girl's Run Drive to End Hunger 10K. Speaking of the race, have you registered? It it is sure to be fun and it is coed so if you are a guy sign up too!
Anyhow, inevitably after I post my photo someone will comment that I looked refreshed and smiley after every run and how is that possible? Case in point....
The answer is pretty simple. My past two years of running have been cathartic. I first started running to mix up my exercise regime and at the end of each run was just happy to have completed it. Two years later I still feel the same way after each run. It doesn't matter if I felt horrible during the run- usually those days generate the biggest smile from me! I smile because I feel a sense of accomplishment, I've done something that is entirely selfish and just for me.
Generally I run with music, I like to have tunes to guide me along the way. Many years ago I ran sans music but haven't been compelled to in recent times. This weekend I had the misfortune of having to replace my phone which meant backups and saving to iClouds and I don't know what else. Needless to say my phone is still not right and it houses all my tunes! So, rather than play around with my phone I decided to just go ahead and run.
Running without music gave me time to truly think. The only noise was from the cars around me and things going on in my head. As I ran I realized....up until this week, I was running away. Running away from the problems in my home, running away from having to think about all my responsibilities, just running. Music blaring and mostly carefree. But all good things must come to an end and when I ran 6 miles without music yesterday all sorts of thoughts and emotions started bubbling to the surface.
This run unlike any other took me through a FULL range of emotions. I cried, I smiled and just took the opportunity to feel. I know it is said running is cheaper than therapy and it is true! I made a huge breakthrough. In the past I was running away but now I'm Running To Resolve!
It is important for me to deal. I am undergoing life changes and keeping myself distracted has not helped me, the inevitable emotional onslaught has just been delayed. So for now, I am going to keep running at least an hour without music. I am able to process things, brainstorm and yes, even shed a necessary tear or two.
I've always maintained that running keeps me balanced and now I am digging even deeper!