Running as therapy? Lots of people say this. I know I have. Running has often been my stress reliever. Running has given me endless, needed runs with Sara, which we both think has saved us from therapy. I know running doesn’t actually replace the need for professional help if it’s needed. But I also know running and exercise are good for me. Running has given me some amazing things. It saved my sanity during grad school. Running has introduced to me to so many friends I wouldn’t even know where to start. When I’ve lost running in the past it’s been really hard for me to figure out what to do. I would just get mad I couldn’t run. I would be jealous of everyone else running. This most recent injury (and being older and wiser, whatever) taught me/reminded me that it’s not just running. It’s exercise. I’ve mentioned several times that I go to spin classes. My goodness, that made a difference this fall/winter while I couldn’t run. My heart rate is up, I’m sweating and I feel like I’m getting a real workout. I was also reminded that I’m happier when I’m exercising. I was reminded that it doesn’t have to be running. There are plenty of ways to get a good workout in and that is something I have to remember.
Running remains an important part of my life, but as I wrote recently, I’m training smarter and concentrating on getting stronger and staying healthy. I think these are the key pieces to me being happier. Running has gotten me through a lot of things, but it’s not the end all be all. I want to be defined as so much more than a runner. One of the many reasons I won’t ever run a full marathon again is it takes over my life. It makes me not fun to be around. Heck, I don’t want to be around myself when I train for a marathon. It just doesn’t work for me.
With some recent changes in my life all I want to do is go for a two hour run and I still can’t do that so I need to concentrate on the exercise I can do and continue to slowly build up my mileage. I know long runs along the lake aren’t that far off and I can’t wait for the better weather for those runs.