Bust The Stress

I run. I’ve been running on and off for almost 20 years.  I’ve run around indoor and outdoor tracks, on city streets and on treadmills.  I brave the cold and I love the warm summer heat.   I run at 4am, I run a 11am and I run at 8pm.   I watch TV, look at wildlife, listen to music and read books.  Sometimes I just surround myself with in my thoughts. I run to be productive and  I run when I’m bored. Running is literally and figuratively (except when I’m on a treadmill, ;-) a way to get away from stress.   Some say I’m a massochist, the way I run and exercise so much.  In all reality I’m just in love with the ‘happy’ chemicals produced in the brain after a heart pounding session at the gym.

Running has never been anything I’ve taken seriously.  Kind of like scrapbooking or reading.  It is something to do that is completely selfish and enjoyable.  I’ve never been all that good at it, but have always wanted to improve.

Last October, I decided to take running to the next level.  Running a 10k (6.2 miles) isn’t that huge of a deal, but to me it was that first step toward the ultimate goal: a marathon.  The 10k I chose couldn’t have been a worse choice.  It was a ‘cross-country’ type course and most of my training had been running on a treadmill at the gym. At the same time, it was a great choice so that I could see how hard I should have trained to be totally prepared.  I didn’t finish last but I didn’t finish anywhere near first.

Running www.autismmom.netThis near failure should have sent me ‘running’ in the other direction but I don’t give up very easily.  A few weeks ago, I signed up for a half marathon.  Not quite sure why.  I wish I could say my finger twitched when the cursor hovered over the ‘sign up’ button.  But I had to enter credit card information a few minutes before… there was no twitch, only purposeful clicking of the keyboard.

A half marathon represents yet another step towards something that is difficult and that I never thought I’d do.  Something that only ‘athletes’ can accomplish.  Since I do not label myself as an athlete, this accomplishment means a lot.  This half marathon goal has also given me a reason to get up and run, even when I’m not feeling up to it. Making my hobby into a bit of a personal competition has given me a source of pride and purpose.  So I apologize when I brag about my latest running conquests on Facebook.  I trying to make this goal public so that I can’t quit very easily.

Getting rid of stress and fulfilling a lofty personal goal… I’m 3 weeks into training and still enjoying it.

How do you get rid of stress in your life?