Sunday, November 2, 2014

Saved by the Run

Since training for my October half ended, I've been a bit relaxed in my weekend runs.  I've gotten them in, but they've happened in the late afternoon rather than the early morning, which is beyond odd for me.  Because I'm not operating under the strict rigidity of a training plan, I'm less motivated to wake up in the early morning hours on a weekend.  But by mid-day, I'm jonesing for a run, needing the endorphins to keep me humming along through the demands of family life.

Yesterday, I planned to get up early because my husband was going to be gone at a day-long training session.  Knowing that underslept and over-sugared post-Halloween kids would test my patience, it would have been wise for me to crank out some miles before he left for the day.  But I'm not always wise.  My alarm sounded; I silenced it without moving an inch off my pillow.  And I regretted that decision for hours...

We survived our day, but we all probably would have been happier had I gone for my run that morning.  They were predictably excitable; I was inexcusably irritable; we were all tired.  By the time my husband got home, I was desperate for the solitude of a run.  "Go ahead with dinner if they get hungry," I told him as I bolted for the door.  "I hope to be gone for a while."

The setting sun on a beautiful fall afternoon.
A much-needed reminder that life is good.
I started out at an easy pace with no clear destination in mind.  Listening to my favorite podcast and breathing the fresh autumn air, I was relaxed and peaceful for the first time all day.  My legs felt strong from the outset, and I tried to push the pace each mile.  As I cruised through the surrounding neighborhoods - at an impressive speed considering that I was largely fueled by Halloween candy - I felt alive and free.  The little things that were stressful and overwhelming earlier in the day melted away until they became utterly meaningless.

Six miles later, I returned home feeling like a new person.  All the same stresses, frustrations, and imperfections were still waiting for me, but I could tackle them with renewed energy.  The run helped put everything back into perspective and remind me that life is good.  Not perfect but good.

Do your workouts ever help turn your day around?