Some Truths about Running
Running is good for me… for my body, my mind and my soul.
If I didn’t run, I would be unhealthy, depressed and miserable.
Simply put, running works for me. Having said that, I know running isn’t for everyone, but I do think every one needs to move. Moving our bodies helps us create and maintain health, happiness and hope.
Some of us like broccoli (yum) and some like brussels sprouts (yuck). And if you and I would go out to dinner, we’d probably order different things. So we also each need to find what type of exercise works for us.
But too many people never even try running because they have convinced themselves they could never do it. Or they don’t realize all the benefits from running and/or they have information about running that isn’t accurate.
Some truths I’ve learned about running.
Running keeps depression at bay
Because I had two bouts of depression in my life, one minor after giving birth three times in less than five years and one major after the accident, the black hole of depression is visible in my peripheral vision from time to time. It can range from being so close it scares me to being so far away I doubt if I’ll ever struggle with it again. And each step I run increases the distance between that black hole and me.
Running and eating well go hand in hand.
We are what we eat.
I know that and I have experienced both the positive and negative effects of what I put in my mouth, both in everyday life and while running. But sometimes I still eat like crap. When I’m running regularly, especially when I’m training for a race, I care more about what I eat and eating healthier becomes much easier.
Running can help decrease pain.
My left calf is the most dramatic looking of my injuries, but it looks worse than it feels. While I have some pain in that ankle, I have minimal pain in the calf area because most of the nerves in that area are severed, so the majority of the calf is numb.
I also had a severe injury on my left thigh. The scar isn’t near as bad as the calf, but it hurts worse, because those nerves aren’t severed, but they are damaged and compressed. You know, the pins-and-needles feeling you have when your arm is sleeping? Thankfully you can shake the sleeping arm and normal feeling returns. But the nerves in certain areas of my thigh never totally reopened, so the pins-and-needles feel (ranging from annoying to painful) has been my constant companion for the past eight years.
About a week or two after my recent marathon, I realized that the burning and pins-and-needles feeling wasn’t as strong over some of the thigh area. Apparently some of the compressed nerves reopened with the consistent training, especially the long runs, which forced movement and circulation around those nerves for a few hours at a time. The healing had happened so slowly that I wasn’t even aware of it at first, but it happened!
Having a future race on my schedule motivates me.
Sometimes people mention how disciplined I am. Ha, the truth is… I’m not really that disciplined, but I have learned that if I commit to something, I will try to do what I can to do it well. There’s nothing like counting down the days to a future race to get my butt out the door.
The best way to know whether or not running is for you, is to try it. Begin slowly with run/walk/run intervals. Do that regularly for a few months before you allow yourself to make a verdict. (The first time I started running, it took about 4 months and a race or two until I learned to like it)
Runners, what are some truths you have learned about running?
Non-runners, what questions do you have about running?
Next Monday I’ll tackle some untruths about running like
the common myth that running is bad for your knees.