Friday, June 29, 2012

Why I Run: To Recenter Myself

I run to recenter and focus myself. With temperatures at 106 degrees for the second day in a row, the little people in my house (and the taller ones, too) are a bit cranky. We've played outside in the mornings, but they are feeling cooped up in the house, and it seems we all have short fuses lately. After a particularly rocky morning, I knew I needed to do something to regroup during naptime. Sitting on the couch with a pint of ice cream sounded appealing, but I knew that would leave me feeling frustrated with myself. A run, on the other hand, could help me regain balance and feel focused.

It's summer in St. Louis: hot, humid, and just getting warmed up.

After singing the requisite naptime songs, I sought the solace of my basement treadmill. I always prefer running outside to running on the treadmill, but on blisteringly hot days like today (or blustery days in the winter), I'm grateful that I have an indoor option. I set low expectations for today's run. I just wanted to run for 30 minutes to get my heart rate up and burn off the frustration of dealing with overheated and overtired toddlers. I surprised myself by setting a PR for the treadmill course I selected, and according to my heart rate monitor, I logged a higher maximum and average heart rate than I've measured on my outdoor runs lately.

Now, after a shower and some stretches, I'm feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to face the rest of my day. And the icing on the cake? There's still 40 minutes left of naptime ;)