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Running…What’s in It for Me?

Running is freedom to be oneself…
It’s a gift – I never take it for granted.

If you asked me a mere five years ago, I would have sworn up and down that I hated running, distance running in particular. To me, running was synonymous with boring, grueling, repetitive exercise – something you had to do, but, quite frankly, did not enjoy, let alone look forward to.

But hey!! What happened?? What converted me into a running enthusiast?

Honestly, the answer is really simple.

I changed my attitude, adjusted my mental perception of the sport. Have you heard of the “Runner’s High” – it’s not some exclusive runners’ club secret…it’s the real deal and anyone can experience it. It’s a physiological response that is euphoric and immensely satisfying, as well as highly beneficial to your overall well-being, both physically and mentally.

My journey back to distance running, as a heartfelt advocate and competitor, was poignantly marked by some very difficult personal years in my life. I didn’t turn to running because I was out of shape – quite the opposite – I was in excellent physical condition, the healthiest I’d been my whole life. I was guided, however, by a personal epiphany – a need to just be, to refocus on something out with myself, to live in the moment without feeling overwhelmed by it.

That’s when I found my love for running…

Running is not only an integral part of my overall fitness regimen, it is, by far, critical to my peace of mind and serenity on most days. And, as a busy mom and professional, this speaks volumes.

I’m not the only person that believes running is both life-changing and therapeutic. What other sports can you just toss on a pair of shoes and go wherever the road takes you…how far, how long, how fast doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it’s immensely liberating and incredibly empowering. Couple that with the opportunity to run along beautiful nature trails, experience peaceful morning mists and serene evening sunsets…you cannot beat it.

Running is a happy place for me…
It centers me, makes me focus on the present.

And, truth be told, there’s something so satisfying about accomplishing something you once thought you could not do. For most of my life, I struggled with distance running, partly from undiagnosed asthma, but also from a lack of knowledge and understanding about the sport and how to train properly. Once I overcame much of my ignorance and just got out there, I was smitten. I had truly caught the running bug and never looked back.

When I run, the only competition is myself…that’s the way I like it.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Strength & Endurance: How to Build and Maintain Lean Muscle as a Distance Runner – DR J 2211 November 28, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    […] a modification on strength training days that incorporates more protein and healthy fats. On days I distance run and perform HIIT (high-intensity interval training), I’ll eat more carbohydrates, especially […]

  • Reply Exercise Mojo – Mental Strategies to Keep Yourself Motivated – DR J 2211 – Rachael Jezierski, Phd December 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    […] Runner’s’ High is one prominent example. As I discussed in my running article, it’s a physiological response that is euphoric and immensely satisfying, as well as highly […]

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    DR J 2211 – Rachael Jezierski, PhD