Monday, June 20, 2011

I Love You Running! You Make Me Happy!

Running is so much more to me than just a form of exercise. So much more than just a way to stay in shape.  
It is my soul food.  
It keeps me happy.  
Makes me feel balanced.  
Helps me to see life in COLOR! 
 A gift indeed!  

And when someone that loves running so truly and deeply finds themselves unable to run or exercise, life tends to take on a grey and dull quality.  Not to mention the mood swings, lack of energy, feeling gross, a decrease in happy feelings and without running and exercise is just not nearly as wonderful for someone that loves it so much. So many of us have been there.  Faced with injury or sickness.  Trying out new forms of exercise in hopes of finding a "temporary replacement". Some of us even start making deals with God that if we can just run again then we won't train so hard but remember to enjoy running for the simple act that it is...just to run! We'll take care of ourselves this time...focus on better form, eat better, ice, stretch and roll...we won't take it for granted!  Then there are some that just can't run anymore due to bad knees or more serious injury, like the doctor I saw the other day. Oh, how his eyes lit up when I mentioned that I just finished a marathon.  You could tell that he shared this love for running.  He didn't have to say a word.  You could see it on his face and hear it in his questions. Hearing him talk made me realize just how important it is to care for our bodies and be wise with "How we Run".

This week has been a weird week for me.  It has been an almost  "forced break".  I believe that my body really did need it because I wasn't doing such a good job at taking a break and "being still".  So it took a double whammy to knock me on my buns!  

PMS+ Kidney infection + drastic drop in exercise + bacon all over my kitchen = one grumpy woman! 

Last night I could take it no longer! I'd done my duty of making bacon for father's day, our house stank of it (still does), I'd rested and took my medication for 5 straight days, and somehow managed to shovel copious amounts of crap down my throat and I was left feeling like a grumpy piece of lard.  So I headed out the door and just ran.  Didn't have a plan in was just a time to run!  

I felt better within the first two minutes of getting my heart rate up.  I was smiling at strangers, waving to the neighbors, and returning to myself one stride at a time! After a 10.5 mile run at marathon pace I am feeling AMAZING!  Like someone turned the lights on.  Like a blindfold was lifted.  Like I just took the best happy pill that was ever invented.  I missed this feeling! I missed this simple pleasure of running! Running because I LOVE it and NEED it and not because I am training for something and feel like I HAVE TO RUN.  Running because it is just part of ME!  Part of what makes life Sweet. Part of what makes me a better Amanda!

1.  If you're not a "runner", is there something that you do that brings the color to life, turns the lights on, and just makes you feel like a better you when you are doing it?  
2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  I've had this book for awhile but have yet to read it.  My husband recently read it and has been incredibly inspired.  I've never seen him so inspired to run. He used to say that he wasn't a runner and would rather stick pencils in his eyes than run a marathon and now he is looking up races for ultra marathons! I'm reading it now so that we can discuss it.  Have you read this book? 
3.  I have a few friends who are just starting to run.  They want to know a good book for beginner runners.  Any suggestions?


  1. Love this post! Just reading this I could totally feel your energy and your running high. Thank you so much for sharing this experience.

    I have not read Born to run but I have heard it is a life changing book.

  2. amen sister!
    love this post! it rings so true!!!!

  3. ugh...I just feel sad after reading this. the first part of your post was just a reminder of the gross peice of lard I have felt like for the past week and will continue to feel like for the next 2wks. I am DYING!:(

  4. oddly i have purchased the book twice only to give away each as gifts. i typically try only to give out books i have read. i guess i need to buy one for myself now. read it to know WHAT i was actually giving out.

    yep i agree with every word. except i kinda like bacon. every now and then we have it for breakfast. when we do - our kids call it the PARTY breakfast for some reason.

  5. .... breakfast sounds good right now. :)

  6. I am so glad you were feeling good enough for a bacon scent clearing run!!

    When I miss a few workouts my family begs to me to go..something bout grumpy. IDK.

    I am putting that book on my used book store search for list right now.

  7. Born to Run IS incredibly inspirational, you'll enjoy it.

  8. I am a new runner and I find the running high only sometimes, the other runs are flat out HARD. I have breathing issues and am determined to find a balance. So I loved your post and reading about running and how if just works for you. I SO hope I find that someday. Glad you are back running!!

    P.S. Try lighting a candle for the bacon smell. We light a jar candle after cooking any meal that leaves a strong after smell. We set it in the sink for extra safety so our dog can't get to it if we are not in the kitchen and leave going for an hour or so. Always works well.

  9. OK-I'm on day two of not being able to run and I'm already dealing with mood swings, lack of energy, feeling gross, and a decrease in happy feelings...What's in store for the next week-ha! Really though, this posts just reiterates to my why I run, how much I love it, how it truly IS soul food!!!!

    Congrats on 10.5 at MP. That's SO AWESOME especially with the "forced break". I can just imagine how you felt after that!

    Get rid of the bacon smell yet-ha?! I HATE that smell. Like it gets stuck in my hair and when I hop in the shower I can just smell it pouring out of my hair and pores-blech nasty!!!

    I have some downtime here with reduced workouts and my life simplifies greatly after next week. I'm going to order this book and read it! Curious as to what is so inspiring! Always looking for inspiration!!!! Have you watched any running documentaries? I've got a bunch through Netflix and have felt SUPER inspired by some of them! OK-back to the couch! Hope you're having a great day and still enjoying that running high!

  10. I am planning on running tomorrow morning. I can't wait to get out there! I definitely feel like something is missing and I know my attitude will be better once I get my body moving.

  11. loved this! and yes, that book is super inspiring

  12. So glad you are feeling your groove again! Such an inspiration. 10.5 after taking such a break! ROCKSTAR! The best part of it is how you are feeling and the light is back! Keep on truckin and inspirin'.
    I am going to read Born to Run too! I am pretty much a beginner and the best books I have read are Another Mother Runner, Kara Gouchers, and MIle Markers is fabulous so far! :) Have a wonderful day!

  13. I'm a runner, but climbing makes me feel how running makes you feel. I'm really looking forward to reading that book, I've heard excellent things about it!

  14. Yes, exactly how I feel. Day 2 sans running and tomorrow I am going for a short and slow one. Haaa! So excited. I loved that book, so inspiring! 10.5 at MP, wow, I am afraid for your next marathon, you are going to kill IT!

  15. Amanda, I apologize...I've had some serious blog catching up to do here. First, so sorry you have been feeling so YUCK with kidney infection and everything else. So glad you were able to get out and RUN and just enjoy. So so true. How it can make us live in a state of gray when we can't run. Second...Bring on the bacon!! Love that and you 'redeeming' yourself. Makes me laugh. Ya, my husband would look at me like I was crazy if I put turkey bacon on the table!! Third, love your prego pics! I personally, don't necessarily love being pregnant but I love the beautiful miracle that it is. Your pics are so awesome. Have a great week, Amanda.

  16. We're like drug addicts. Take away our drug of choice and we get serious withdrawals. But give use a little hit and a peace flows through us. All of a sudden we feel so alive!

  17. A good break always brings back the love :)

  18. It still amazes me that I never run into you out on the streets around here :)
    I so understand the feel of having a forced and unwanted break, but it does feel so good when you are able to get out there again. Lots a thankful prayers are said :)
    I think Kara Gouchers book is a great one for new runners and seasoned runners alike. In fact I just bought it for my sister in law, she is new to running and now has an injury. Thought it might help her pass the time until she can run again.

  19. Let me know what you think of the book! I've been reading it when I go to Barnes & Noble. I'm done with chapter 3 currently. I'll buy it eventually. :)

  20. When I was starting to run, I read "The Courage to Start" by John Bingham and LOVED EVERY WORD. It totally inspired me and made me realize for the first time that even if I'm slow, I'm still a runner! Totally recommend it for beginners (or anyone needing a little inspiration!). :)

  21. Born to Run is on my running reading list. I can't wait to get to it.

    For new runners, if they are looking for more of a how to, I would suggest Chi Running. It helped me a ton with posture and relaxing while running.

  22. what a wonderful post, amanda. i'm so happy you were able to get out there for that run and the joy and peace it brought you. i can completely relate.
    i have born to run but also have not yet read it. i plan to get started on it soon!!!

  23. Great run! I'm way slower than you but totally know the feeling where a run just feels great. You never know when they are going to happen. I had one like that this past Saturday. No expectations, took one of my favorite loops and just enjoyed every minute of it.

  24. Try being unable to run for 18 months w/o some level of agonyzing pain - you'll see what a witch you can become. And depressed. And bitter. And angry. The list goes on and on and on....I'm very glad you got out and ran, with no plan, other than to release the tension. I can so relate!

    I was given Born to Run last year after the end of track season from the head coach, he knows Christopher McDougall and snagged a few hundred so he gave me one. I have picked it up and started it about 4 differen times and it never held an interest the first few chapers but this time I am pushing though it and I'm about half way now and I have to say that I am really starting to get into it. I think you will like it. Maybe you'll want to come out to Colorado and do the Leadville 100 after reading it!! I'll even pace you! :)

  25. Sorry you are feeling junky, glad you have running to help you recover. I have not read born to run either, but am constantly recommended it. Maybe I'll buy it for my weekend trip. We hike alot, but once find a lake, we rest for a while so it would be a good opportunity for me to read. As for books for new runners? Depends on how into they are. I know it is probably oversold, but I really like ultramarathon man, by Dean K. It was interesting to read how he got into it, his start fast finish fast approach and the amazing range and variety that is running. Also there is a Chicken Soup for the Runner's Soul that has great individual stories.

    Good luck with the Bacon...give it a week and leave your windows open the whole time.

  26. I also love this post! I am going to check out that book...I could always use a little inspiration. Running is hard for me but I do love it!

  27. Running definitely makes me happy! It calms me, energizes me, revives me, restores me and just puts my mind and body in a happy place. it is a gift I give to myself every day. :)
    Great post!

  28. 1. sunshine
    3. ??? no idea. I like Runner's World. I'm not a fan of "running books"..snore. WITH the exception of Born to Run, of course.

    ps...sorry about the bacon kitchen. yuck

  29. I'm glad your husband was so inspired by the book. I read it, but I thought it was so-so. I think it's just me because everyone else ran out in their bare feet after that book came out.

    And my daughter once had a kidney infection. They hurt. May the antibiotics work wonders.

  30. I feel this way about both running and yoga. That book is also on my list of things to read. For new runners, I'd really recommend Running for Mortals by John Bingham. Mile Markers is also a fantastic read!

  31. My friend let me borrow Born to Run, but took it back before I could even read a single page.

    When I first started I picked up a running book for women - it may have been a Runner's World book actually. I couldn't stop reading it. I actually thought I might go and read it again. I learned a lot of things that now seem just seem and basic, but it also inspired me!

  32. Love this post!!!! I have Born to Run on my nightstand....guess I need to dust it off and read it! Could use the inspiration!

    Perhaps the bacon led to your hilarious comment!!! You crack me up! Hope you can get some rest! Too funny!

  33. Oh you are simply beautiful and inspiring! I love that a mere "get the HR up" turns into 10.5 miles! Way to punch bacon in the facehole!

    I haven't read Born to Run either...Racing Weight is on my nightstand :)

  34. Loved reading this and totally recognise it. Can't wait till I can get out there again and yes - I'm making ALL of those bargains right now...

    I can't get through that book - I start and then I give up. Which reminds me - do you want a copy of Run Less Run Faster? After finally having enough bookshelves to hold my books I realise I have 2 copies. Let me know and email me your postal address to petraduguid at gmail dot com.

  35. Hey,
    I've been reading a lot of Jack Daniels lately and one thing he suggests is scheduled running breaks. Apparently they are good for you. :)

    I am glad you got out to run though :). It is so nice after a break.

  36. love this post. i'm currently sequestered to the pool and NOT happy about it. it's amazing how something can really affect our lives, such as running, in so many different ways.

    born to run is on my shelf and i haven't read it yet. i should get on it. i've loved reading dean karnazes' books.

    and while reading through the comments...i'll take jill up on pacing thru leadville if you don't...or maybe she could pace a couple of the legs... ;)

  37. I'm right there with you. Running keeps me SANE!

    I've gotta get that book. Everyone RAVES about it!

    Hmmm... new runner tips? Start slow, add small increments at a time, don't get frustrated with feeling out-of-shape. You'll feel like a 'runner' in no time!

  38. I loved BORN TO RUN, like most people. I also found it inspiring and I wanted to run an ultra by the time I was 3/4 of the way through.

    I know what you mean about the world taking on a dull grey color when you can't run. I wasn't able to run for 3 weeks and I finally had a good 9 mile run on Monday! It was amazing. I was ecstatic! I felt like I was high. Well, I was! High on endorphins! I used the time off to read, reflect, journal (all the things you do anyway) and I also did some restorative yoga, when I could. I found a lot of peace during this time and was able to cope without running. But as soon as I could run again, it's like my world lit up!

  39. Cool post Amanda. Yes, I am getting caught up on reading some of my favorite blogs.

    Funny, I had a really mellow training week this week. I didn't even use a HR Monitor, just ran for the joy of it. felt a little unfulfilling too. I need a purpose to run. Every run. I challenge myself.... can I run X pace at X heart rate. So while I was supposed to have a lazy run yesterday, I decided to run it at MP and it felt awesome.

    Not to sound like a complete a-hole, but I don't really like to run slowly (my slowly).