Running SUCKS….

but most days I love it!

Today I had someone ask me why do I like running so much.  My answer to them was this, “I don’t always like it.  Some days it just plain sucks for a lack of a better term.”

Today I woke up and did NOT want to get out of bed.  I had been dealing with a mouthy daughter the night before which had put me in a foul mood and the “hangover” if you want to call it that, carried over into today.  I hate waking up in a bad mood.  I am normally a very happy person, but her attitude the last few days had just been taking its toll on my mood and stress level.  I forced myself out of bed, as I had laid all my running attire out the night before so there were no excuses.  I got up and got dressed and forced myself out the door.  I got to my normal running locale and sat in my car, fiddling with my phone.  I didn’t want to go.   I got my music ready and stepped out.  It was a little chilly but not too bad.  I got my Garmin set and set out on my merry (or foul rather in this case), little way.  I felt heavy and sluggish from the bottled in stress and emotions.  My right hip was tight and protested slightly going up the hills.  About a mile into my run I came across the top of my first hill and it was here that I felt the heaviness lift.  My hip felt slightly better, my jaw relaxed and I kept plugging away, still thinking “I have one more mile to go before I can turn around…”  Just before 1.5 miles in, as I was coming down a long hill, I felt the rest of the tension ease and I started looking at all the things on my run like I normally do.  The crisp air, the dew that had collected on my shirt sleeves as I went, the dew on the grass leaves, the smell of the nearby houses with their fireplaces going.  It felt great.

Once I got to my turn around area, I thought to myself “Okay!  I’m half way, this should be easier now.”  However, part of my last half of my run is the uphill part of that long downhill where I felt all that release maybe 5 minutes earlier.  It is a slow gradual incline that is at least a 1/2 mile long.  It’s rough.  My neighbor calls it “Million Dollar Hill.”  Most of the time you see people walking up this bad boy or pushing their bike, however I run it several times a week, today I felt like throwing in the towel.  I wanted to stop and walk so bad, however my heart said “keep going!  You will kick this hill’s ass!”  My heart rate was climbing as I sped up this mountain, topping out at 184 bpm, however the downhill side of this thing feels so sweet after that slow, steady climb.  I knew once I conquered that beast, it was all downhill from there and I was right.  My pace quickened for the rest of my route.  I felt energy surge through me and pushed the pace even more.  All of my happy music seemed to be popping up from this point on.

Once I got back to my car, I felt relieved and so much better and was glad I made myself get out and get that run in.  Running is therapy to me.  Exercise is therapy to me.  It’s the natural mood enhancer that so many people are missing in their lives.  I wish after a good run or a good race, I could just break off a little bit of what I’m feeling and give it those that have ever doubted me and why I enjoy it so much.  I wish I could make them feel the sense of accomplishment and pride that I feel when I have done something I never thought I could do.  It’s not a race against others.  It’s a race against yourself and what you thought you couldn’t do and what you couldn’t do yesterday.  Everyday I am changing, little bit, by little bit, making myself stronger:  mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

When I look back at my life, I want to be able to say I was a good mother and wife first off, but determined and driven as well.  Running and exercise provides me with all that.  It is my stress reliever and it is my joy, but it also plain sucks some days.

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