In honor of Valentine's Day today I decided to celebrate why I love running. I know a lot of people dislike Valentine's Day but I think of it as a day to celebrate all of things in my life that I love and am grateful for. As happy as I am to spend Valentine's Day with my amazing boyfriend and was even happier to start the day off with a four mile run.
So here we go:
1. The challenge. Running is one of the few things that always challenges me no matter what. Some days the challenge is hitting a certain pace while others days it can be as simple as just getting out the door. Maybe it is because I am such a new runner, but I truly feel that I have a lot of room for improvement both in the speed of my running and my overall running endurance. Running is the best reminder that nothing comes easy, and that the best things in life are worth fighting for.
2. The stress relief. Being a full time college student can be very stressful, especially during midterm & finals week. When I am feeling overwhelmed I always force myself to go for a run because I know I will feel a million times better afterwards. Running lets me get my mind off of whatever is bothering me at least for a little while.
3. The time to myself. I am a huge introvert. I absolutely need time to myself to simply gather my thoughts and be alone. So many of things in my life are shared with friends and family and it is such a great feeling to have running all to myself. It is my time to just be by myself and think about whatever I want.
4. The feeling of accomplishment. I love the feeling of knowing that I accomplished something that most people will never do. Running makes me feel like I am getting out there and doing something productive while others are lounging on the couch. I love going for morning runs and starting my day off with a sense of accomplishment so early.
5. The confidence is gives me. As I have mentioned before I have struggled with my confidence. I feel so great about myself about a few days of consistent running, like I am on top of the world. In turn, this confidence transfers back into my running and starts a very beautiful circle.
6. The feeling after a great run. This goes along with the feeling of accomplishment. No feeling beats that after an awesome run. I had a run like this a few weeks ago and I was riding my runner's high for the entire weekend. I felt truly unstoppable and like I was completely in my element. No better feeling seriously.
7. The time I spend outside. Growing up I didn't really enjoy spending time outside. Running, though, makes me appreciate nature so much. Whenever it is a beautiful day outside all I can think about is going to a run to enjoy the beautiful weather. Consequently, I have spent many days running outside in the rain.
8. The strength it gives me. As a swimmer I didn't use my legs very much. It was very difficult for me when I first started running because my legs were not used to constantly being used. My legs are so much stronger now and I absolutely love it. Running has also made me stronger mentally. I struggled mentally as a swimmer and had frequent bouts of anxiety and the occasional panic attack. Running has been the complete opposite for me and I couldn't be more grateful.
9. The community. Even though I don't know many other runners, I love being a part of the running community. I love the support of the blogging community and having the ability to chat with other runners on Twitter. Going to a race and being with other people who are there for the exact same reasons is such a unique experience. Runners are all so friendly and welcoming.
10. The shoes. I'm not going to lie, I love my running shoes. I love all shoes in general and any excuse to buy new shoes is okay with me. I recently switched to a bright purple pair of Brook's Adrenaline's and can't get over how awesome they are.