I would just like to say that I think I finally consider myself a runner. No. I'm not awesome at it, but I run between 2-3 miles a few times a week. MILES PEOPLE, MILES!!!!! I only had time to run 1 mile the other night... and I felt like a cop out.
Anyone who knows anything about my physical endurance history knows that this is absurd. ABSURD. I have hated running ever since I was a wee little wildcat who had to run around the field during elementary school P.E.class. Volleyball was my high school sport of choice because it required absolutely no running. At most you would lunge quickly to get the ball or "run" two or three steps. Every time we had to run long distances in "fit for life" I wished I would get injured or have an asthma attack just so I could avoid the awkward and cardiovascularly painful procedure.
I've now been running on and off for about a year and a half, but I never really got serious about being consistent until this last July.
I have to say, running makes me a happier, healthier person. Here is a list of ways running has improved my life:
1. My heart that has always felt like it was three sizes too small is definitely stronger and healthier now than it has ever been. I don't get winded going up stairs. UNLESS there are over like... 75 steps. I'm not a robot people.
2. Running has reduced my anxiety and depression problems significantly, even as the season change has begun to ruin my life.
3. It just doesn't feel right to sit around anymore. Like... ever. I'm so much more productive and on top of all of my homework in all of my classes. I clean my room all the time. It's weird.
4. Insomnia does not exist for runners. Okay I just made that up. But it's impossible for me to have a crappy night's sleep if I've run at all in the last 48 hours. And trust me, I used to be the queen of insomnia.
5. My thighs are becoming less threatening and my calves are gaining some street cred. There is an epic battle going on between my calf muscles and my lower leg chub. The muscles are TOTALLY winning. I wear these stretchy capris when I run. And they look dang good, if I do say so myself.
6. Fat is slowly (ever so slowly) melting from my frame and being replaced with pure awesomeness.
7. Eating healthy is easier. There's just something so appealing about fruits and vegetables when I know that they are going to help me run faster and longer. Fatty food definitely slow me down. Literally. I can barely run a few blocks after eating fast food. My body just feels nasty. If I ever eat fast food for lunch.... it gives me the after-run runs. Sorry. But it's just the ugly truth. ALSO. Frozen apple sauce > icecream. I'm dead serious. I could eat it forever. And I don't even like apple sauce.
8. I actually enjoy hiking. In fact, I'm going on a big hike tomorrow to look at all the pretty pretty leaves on squaw peak. My lungs don't feel like they're going to explode, my face doesn't get cherry red and my muscles don't cry for mercy anymore. It's peculiar.
9. My resting heart rate is much lower than it used to be, and my recovery time is waaaaaaaay quicker. I kid you not.... my heart rate is back down below 100 just 5 MINUTES after running 1 mile. Contrast this with my face staying red and my heart pounding for at least a half hour after running a mile in jr high or high school. Crazy bones.
10. I sometimes feel the urge to run up the stairs or run up a hill. Like, I get annoyed that it's taking me so long to walk uphill, and running always seems like the less torturous option. Really? Yes. really. I've run up a hill or two in my day to get to my car. But only when no one is looking. And I never run to class. I'm not one of those kids...
11. I don't feel right if I don't exercise. I always run at least once every few days. I even ran the week I had shingles. That was probably a mistake. But it just didn't feel right to not.
Anyway. I'm not going to lie to you. Starting to run regularly was one of the most unpleasant habits I've ever had to make. The beginning sucks. It sucks real bad. But, it's worth it. I used to say that I would only run voluntarily if I actually had to run for my life, and even then it would be a debate. Trust me kids, it's awesome.