Sometimes, after a long day at work, I wonder whether it is worth the bother of going out for a run. Quite often I wonder this despite having spent many minutes looking out of the windows (I have what estate agents would call a 'double aspect' classroom) trying to work out what the weather will be like by the time I eventually down tools and go home. Today was one of those days. I was tired and cranky, but I had made the effort not to get roped into various meetings after school today with the thought that it would be nice to get home in daylight for a change, so there was nothing for it but to go for a run.
After a day at work, where I am on my feet for most of the day, I find that the first half mile of any run is pretty ropey. It is almost as though it takes that long for my feet to work out what they need to do, I struggle to get into a rhythm and feel like quitting, but the first half mile also takes me to the top of the first hill, so the next bit is down hill for a wee while! Pretty soon my legs are back in the grove and running becomes, if not effortless, mindless. I don't need to think about what my body is doing, I just go with the flow. I'm not running for a time, although sometimes I'll play with speed a bit, speeding up until I get to a certain landmark and then gliding back to a cruising pace. I'm running because it feels good to be out and about in the fresh air. I'm not even running because I am training for a couple of marathons, I'm running because I can! The rhythm of my feet on the tarmac has an almost meditative effect, I feel as though I am on auto pilot, my mind can wander and I can think things through in a way that just doesn't happen if I am at home or work.
And I see great things too! Today I saw a peacock and a peahen - the peacock was trying to impress a very disinterested prospective mate, sadly I couldn't get my camera out of my pocket in time, but I did see yet another beautiful sunset! Admittedly, I was struggling to stand upright in a very brisk wind as I took the photo, but it is safe to say that I have blown out all the cobwebs and stress from another day at work!
I started to run for more prosaic reasons. I was fed up of the gym, but wanted to lose weight. I don't think I ever imagined that it would become such an important and integral part of my life. I've gained so much from running. I've achieved things I never thought possible, made friends with people I'd never have met had it not been for running, and found the ultimate stress reliever!
I'd love to know why you run. Please feel free to comment below.