I don’t always find a lot of time for running these days. With two children aged three and one, the morning is too much of a rush to attempt anything but the essentials, and by the evening I can convince myself that I’m too exhausted to even think about putting my trainers on for a run. But recently I have tried to shake myself out of the inertia I find myself in, and have made an effort to go out for a run once my daughters are in bed. Running offers me an outlet to shake off any of the day’s difficulties, ready to start the next day afresh.
It wasn’t until I went to university that I discovered how much I love running. I’d never been keen on running at school; enforced bleep tests and plodding around the same track time after time didn’t feel particularly inspiring. However, I was sporty and so when I got to university I found that going out for a run was a good way to quickly fit some exercise in between lectures and evenings spent at the Union. It came as a surprise that running could be an enjoyable release from day to day life, and living on the edge of the city meant I could be out in the countryside within minutes. Even half an hour was enough to make me feel like I had had a break from studying and the unruliness of an industrial northern city. I ran alone or with my partner, through fields and alongside lakes in the summer before switching to pounding pavements during the long, dark winter. I entered races and was strict with training to try to get the best times I could. My love affair with running continued throughout university, and I was addicted to running good distances regularly.
When I left university and started working around the clock, any time I had previously reserved for running gradually became consumed by other tasks. Running fell by the wayside and I no longer thought of myself as a runner. It wasn’t until my eldest daughter turned two that I realised how much I missed running. I recognised that I had become completely consumed by work, motherhood and life’s ups and downs. I wasn’t doing anything for myself and so I started running regularly again. That first run on a drizzly January morning was anything but pleasant. My legs were heavy and my lungs felt like they were being repeatedly whipped by the cold air. But as I stood in the shower afterwards, I watched the hot water run down my icy skin and felt the euphoria of completing my first run in a long time. I immediately felt my love for running rush back.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
I find that when life feels difficult, my running will be at its best. In the midst of the chaos of life, going out for a run gives me some much needed time to think uninterrupted. I only ever run on my own now and I rarely listen to music or use any gadgets. I like to step out of the front door and escape to somewhere different, both physically and emotionally. The freedom of being outdoors, with the breeze brushing against me or the rain on my skin, is a tonic for stress and tiredness. I have learned to concentrate on the different aspects of the run itself; the way my body feels, the symmetry of my steps and breathing, and the sights and sounds along that day’s route. I let myself get lost in my thoughts, processing the day or anything that I need time to work through. A healing process occurs whilst I am out and when I get home, I feel like the time spent running has cleansed me and left me ready to continue with life. Running provides me with a much needed outlet, and I hope my love of using it to escape stays with me for years to come.
Thanks to Hannah for sharing her blog, I know we can really relate to it. It's hard to juggle work, life, and everything that comes in between let alone get out for a run. But running really is a great release from everything else that's going on.
Following Hannah at www.workinglife2016.wordpress.com or on twitter @workinglife2016