Thursday, February 28, 2013

Running on the Sun (a running movie)


                          So what is your favorite running movie? I have not watched enough of them to yet feel I have a 'favorite'. I have watched My Run, The Spirit of the Marathon, The Terry Fox story and last night I watched Running on the Sun about ultra-runners running a famous 135 mile race in the desert . Above is the link to the movie on Youtube....Warning, it comes in 9 parts. After each part, Youtube will have a link to the next one on the top left of the screen.

Plant-based fast and increase juicing....

               For the last couple of weeks I have increased the amount of vegetable/fruit juice I drink to double the normal amount, that's about 56 fluid ounces of juice daily now, then, afterwards having either a big salad meal or some type of oven-baked root vegetables. I feel much more aware and awake than I did the last few weeks when I was just lethargic every morning. My main objective is to lose some of these pounds in order to become faster at running. As I said in my last post, speed has never really been my goal while running, but since  I have been naturally feeling  much lighter on my feet I now think it's a reasonable goal to have. The idea of becoming faster and thinking of myself as an 'athlete' are still so foreign to me, but slowly I feel this image of myself shifting and I have got to admit that it's very exciting. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Running in the rain ROCKS!!!

                       I absolutely love running in the rain....I got home from work today and quickly changed into my running clothes and went out the door. It was not going to be another night run in the stinky gym with its odd smell and sweltering heat turned up to the max. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vegetable/Fruit Juicing Fast Begins Today!!!

                     I want to get faster and the extra pounds I am carrying on me are not helping me reach that goal. Vegetable/fruit fasting is the only and healthiest way I have found to lose those extra pounds that will also benefit your body and not deprive it in any way. Last time I did a fast was 2 years ago with the master cleanser and the entire experience made me feel a huge disconnect with my body, therefore the vegetables and fruits are the way to go for me. Plus, I have been juicing daily already for over 1.5 years so upping the amounts will be quite gentle on my body. 

                     I decided to do this fast after this weekend's long run where I, unknowingly, beat my pace by about 40 seconds per mile. That is HUGE!!! I am now under 11 minute a mile runner....that is quite amazing, I could not be more excited.  I now have new aspirations for my running, one I never even cared for, speed. In total honesty, speed has never been my goal in this running journey. I was perfectly happy to be an average 11 minute a mile runner, but after 8 months of running I am seeing that very slowly I am getting faster, just naturally. Yes, blasting merengue, salsa and mambo on my itunes helps with speed, but this new speed came so naturally, without effort. 

                     Another reason I am doing a vegetable/fruit fast is because I am trying to move myself (and my family eventually) towards a more plant-based diet overall. This weekend I happened across a video called, 'You Will Not Believe Your Eyes' (see below). Although it's only a trailer for a movie, it affected me deeply. I felt so helpless afterwards, I hate seeing animals suffer but do you make something like issue this better? Most of me wanted to move away from it, move on and ignore how I felt, but the affects it had on me persisted. 

                  I am aware that not eating animals may not directly help these very birds on this very island; perhaps it will never even help any animals at all, even the ones being slaughtered right now. But what I do know is that most of me wants to opt out of my dependency on animals for sustenance period. I am going to make a monumental effort to take myself out of the equation altogether, no matter how inconsequential its impact. I choose to be free of needing animals to live. Call it stupid, call it what you like, but karmically, that is what I need to work towards to better align my life to my beliefs and it feels right moving in that direction. For now, I know I need to seriously teach myself how to cook and eat more plant-based foods and try to reduce the only animal products I do eat such as cheese, eggs and chicken. I will work on me first and hope my family will follow, but I need to start with me. 

Here is another movie I watched this weekend and in the end (the last 25 minutes or so) they explain how the deep water fishing has wiped out this specific population of fish that can live to over 100 years, but also how it has destroyed thousands of years' worth of corals which fish depend on to live.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Feeling amazing... A very strong long run this morning

                  I averaged a 10:40 minutes per mile this morning and I could not be happier. Normally I run at an 11:20 minutes per mile pace so this has just proved to me that I'm getting faster. I met this Chilean family taking pictures right by The Capital and asked them to take my picture at mile 6....It was sprinkling the whole time and I LOVE, LOVE to run in the rain. Next time I will bring an extra pair of socks because although I tried to avoid the puddles my feet still got wet and were soaking for over 2 hours. No blisters though.....all around I could not be happier....

Stories of other runners inspire us to reach for our highest goals

                 One thing that keeps me hooked on running is the inspiration I am gaining from reading and hearing about all these amazing people that have beat the odds and come back triumphant in one form or another. I have heard about runners who have beat obesity, cancer, near-death illnesses, depression to come back winning. Every new running blog I run across tells of this same journey of triumph over adversity, pain and what seemed like insurmountable odds. The more you hear about these amazing human beings, the more you realize that you too could be one of them. That is the lure of running for me, the promise of reaching invincibility, painlessness and surpassing my most desired and distant goals.....yeap, little ol' me....

             For the past few months I have been doing little else in my free time but reading and hearing all about these amazing people in running. Their stories have filled me with hope, love for humanity, love for the human body and it's potential. Juxtaposed to that, on television, we are being constantly fed with stories of murderers, killers and even on what they label 'kids' shows' the characters are often petty, picky, annoying, sarcastic and contemptuous at best; these are not very good qualities to  immerse ourselves in, less our children. 

              I invite you to seek out your own heroes and how in learning about them you are transformed by their journey. Who inspired you to start running, who or what inspired you to keep running?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I did it....I got up early to run

                        It has been so cold lately I have not been able to get out to run, leaving me with one awful option, working out at the gym. So at 5am this morning when my alarm went off, more than half of me begged and kicked to go back to bed for an hour.....but I fought it hard, drank my coffee and headed out the door....BOY WAS IT AMAZING!!......not only did I feel great finally running on pavement again, but I also ran a faster 3 miles than usual....when I got back to my apartment I caught the sun coming up making the whole sky this beautiful orange-red color (see image above). Cannot wait for my long run tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Manifesting that first marathon into reality

                  I am debating whether or not I will run a marathon this year. Funny how in running, just as in regular life, only what you imagine to be possible ever really manifests. Part of me wants to just register for a marathon for the fall of 2013 and feel confident I'll be ready, but another part of me still can't imagine getting there, at least not that soon. I have full confidence that I can do a half-marathon, but a full marathon? I not yet sure, not in the fall for sure. Perhaps I am thinking too far in advance and I should just take it one day at a time. Perhaps, I should just look at all I have already done and be happy with how far I have come, but a huge part of me wants to experience finishing a marathon so bad I can taste it. I know it will be a life-changing experience for me and the sooner it happens the better. 

                   I know myself and I know that very soon, in the next year or two I will run and complete a marathon, no doubt about that. The question on my mind is how soon? I am sort of impatient and want that experience under my belt yesterday. But, to avoid injuring myself I will absolutely take it slow and maybe do a couple of 1/2 marathons before I ever think of running a full one. I could do the run-walk-run method and do it sooner but the perfectionist, purist part of me wants to actually run the whole marathon, not walk a chunk of it. I very much respect people's decision to do that if they so choose to, but I know for me, I need to be running it. 

                    In the meantime, I am happy with my weekly running schedule of 20-23 miles a week and hoping to complete 1000 miles by November of 2013. I am also slowly learning more and more about how to increase my 'wind' and might be trying out some of what I learn on the weekends. I am not going to let the competitive, perfectionist part of me ruin the overall positive experience I have so far been having with this new found passion. 

**How about you out there? 
**How did you know when you were ready to run a marathon?  
**From when you started running, how long did it take you to run a marathon?

The absolute torture of running in a gym

                                    I was way too tired to get out of bed and run yesterday and the day before so I ended up running in my BORING apartment building's gym at 9pm after putting my daughter down for the night. I have two kids and my hubby puts down our son (8) and I put down my daughter. We did not plan it that way, but these habits just form and then it becomes a solid routine, so that is our life. 

                         The gym is absolute torture on so many counts but I was not in the mood to run in 20 degrees and high wind so gym it was. In the gym, which is about 14 feet by 14 feet with about 7 machines crammed in like sardines was my punishment for not getting my butt off in the morning. There was a young man in there singing out loud and on my favorite treadmill. Just when I was entertaining the idea of what I would say to him to make him be quiet he left to go to the weight section of the gym (an even smaller room) where he proceeded to make even louder noise as he let the weights fall after each pump. 

                But there IS hope. This morning as I was getting breakfast ready for my kids, I noticed the sun was up just a tad bit earlier and it brought a huge smile to my face. I can smell spring!! Soon, I will be jumping out of bed in the mornings ready to experience the fresh air only mornings can offer and as I have said many times, DC has the best springtime of any other 'big' city. Nevertheless, I was so proud of myself for completing my workout regardless of the conditions. I feel like this is the last time I can run in the gym without doing some kind of injury on my foot. The treadmill makes me change my form a bit, but enough to affect my entire form and weird aches and pains have been creeping in....I have noticed that running outdoors allows me to keep better form and avoid injuries (knock on wood). 
                  Where do you run? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

52 Year-Old Heart Transplant Recipient Goes on to Become Marathon Runner

                    Every morning I get up at 5ish and get breakfast ready for the kids, get my coffee going, put together my own lunch and juice about 48 ounces of vegetable/fruit juice in the juicer for the day. The whole time I go through this, and I can do all of it in about 40 minutes, I listen to one of my running-related podcasts for I am usually the only one up that early. Recently I have been listening to The Marathon Show with Joe Tericani, who I find to be a delightful man, a great interviewer and all-around fun to listen to at home, in the car, even while running. Today, I listened to him interview Donald Arthur, a heart transplant recipient at age 52, who then goes on to run over 31 marathons (on his way to 50) and is trying to run one in every state. It was a very emotional interview to listen to and I felt so lucky to be alive afterwards. If you have not had a chance to hear about this man, it's the Aug 20, 2010 podcast from The Marathon Show on iTunes. Totally worth listening to, especially if you need a spirit pick-me up. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Days off.....missing the run

                      Days off feel nice and restful until about 11am, and then I start feeling like I should be out there on the road, sweating. Not out of guilt, I stopped being a Catholic years ago, but out of craving the feeling I get when running. I do like the free time I get though. I am having breakfast this morning with a wonderful woman I use to work with 4 years ago and I am so excited to hear how she's been doing. When I last saw her I was a size 18, desperately depressed on the inside because of my weight and simply unable to figure out how to go about shedding the extra pounds. I am so glad my hubby runs too so at least I have someone to chat unendingly to about running. Most of my friends are not into running and I often find myself holding back my excitement about running around them in order to not come across like a crazy lady. More and more I am considering joining a running club JUST so I could meet other running-crazy peeps like me....who when not running, would like to be chattin' about it. What do you do on YOUR 'days off' of running? 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Dog-filled Run

                      I was running around the towns of Baldwin, Freeport and Oceanside, NY in Long Island this morning for my long run (10 miles) and I must have seen about 3 dogs who were not on a leash. One actually ran up to me while I passed his house and I got really startled. I could tell within seconds that it was a friendly dog, but it still made me stop out of fear. For a few blocks there I actually considered carrying my pepper-spray in my hand instead of in a little pocket inside of my arm-band, where I always carry it, but I was too lazy and trying to conserve energy.

                     I love dogs, but I would not hesitate to spray one that comes after me. A few years back when my sweet, gorgeous and super friendly German Shepherd dog, Duncan, was alive, a very angry dog ran out of his back yard and for many minutes attached his teeth to the back of my poor dog as I frantically called for help. Three thousand dollars later he was fine but it was such a traumatic experience that I could not do runs again for years. I tried continuing my running, but each time I would have this overwhelming fear that out of nowhere an angry dog would come running after me.

                      So now I carry pepper spray and I don't play. I also now have two kids and need to be home for my family. I believe every person, especially women, should carry pepper spray on their runs. It's much better to be safe than sorry. What do you do to stay safe?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Baths...a runner's BEST friend

               There is nothing I look forward to more after my long runs than a long hot bath. I am convinced that my recovery time is cut in half by the mere fact that I do this every week. Another thing I do to help with recovery is wear my leg compression sleeves after my runs and it feels awesome to have this slightly snug fabric around my lower leg. If I had a particularly grueling run I will heat up my rice-in-a sock bag in the microwave for 1.5 minutes and place it on any part that hurts before I go to bed for 10-20 minutes. So far, I can boast no injuries in my running journey. What do you do to heal faster after (or before) long runs? 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Churnings of a slow runner....

I was listening to The Marathon Show podcast and heard the phrase 'you've been chicked'. The term means when a woman passes a man you'd say 'the man has been chicked'. Made me immediately wonder what it's called when a man passes a woman. Perhaps because men are thought of as traditionally faster than women, there is no term for it. But the whole idea of passing made me think of America's fascination with speed and it's affect on runner's rapport towards one another in the field. Being a consistent 11 minute a mile runner made me think of the fact that there will always be faster runners than me, at least until I get faster. On my runs I am most certainly always passed by faster runners, often times younger men who wizz past me triumphantly. The fact that I am passed has not bothered me much until I talked to my hubby and he expressed how good it feels pass other runners. I now run and wonder, 'is this guy mentally screaming victory too as he passes me?', my answer is, 'most likely.' As a good Buddhist, I am working on this and each time it happens I have to remind myself that I am not competing against the person who passes me, I am only ever competing against myself. In a way, each time a person passes me is an opportunity to remind myself of this fact. 

How about you out there....are you a passer or a 'passee'? How do you feel on either end of this issue? In the end I have to celebrate the fact that I can run, the fact that I ran 2 hours and 20 minutes non-stop last weekend and the fact that I have found something I really love to do.....being passed allows me to practice focusing on what I do have....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Could not get out of bed this morning...when is spring coming!!

                        Oh, I cannot wait for spring to get here!!!  DC must have THE BEST springtime on the planet and my energy level gets noticeable higher the minute the days start getting longer and the trees start blooming, nothing like spring in DC. This morning I was suppose to run a bit before work (4 miles) but for the life of me I could not get out of bed. No amount of coaxing could get me up. Now, its not like I did not get good sleep. I went to sleep at 9pm last a 5am wakeup was giving me a good 8 hours of sleep. Technically, I should have been fine. I decided instead of beating myself up over it to listen to my body instead and go back to bed for another hour and skip the run. Even after that extra hour, I still felt tired.

                       I am taking the day off work tomorrow to help out in my daughter's class for their class auction project, so the change of pace will be a nice switch for me and maybe give me the rest I need. I think I will try exploring Rock Creek at lunch and making up for the lost miles. I love running very much, but there is something about the cold weather that has gotten to me. All this reading about the constant summer in California has gotten me thinking about possibly relocating there at some point in the future. Just an idea for now, but I do feel a certain lure to being on the Pacific coast.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

For dry faces due to running in cold, dry or windy conditions

I just got my order from Terra Secrets on cannot stop putting this stuff on all over my face and neck. It also smells amazing, it's non-greasy and cool on your skin.

Maintaining a sick-free winter for the whole family

Juice of 12 Carrots, 3 apple, thumb of ginger, 3 cantaloupe slices with peel, 1 peeled orange.

Snail's got power....

                       If there was an animal or creature that most symbolizes where I am currently in my human development it would be the snail. I know what you may be thinking, but let me explain.

                     Adding the gift of running to my daily life has allowed me to see how little, even tiny efforts over an extended period of time add up to monumental changes in one's life. It has taught me that over all other qualities, it's perseverance that wins out over any other 'seemingly' faster opponents. This new knowledge has allowed me to relax completely about all things immediately stressful and instead always focus on the long term and the big picture. This is an amazing discovery for a person who could not handle any stressful situation a few years back without totally losing her cool and doing drastic things to try to avoid all negative situations for fear of what it might feel like to not be in control. Seriously, I had given up on trying to fix this part of myself years ago. I thought that perhaps I was wired in such a way that I would always be deeply affected by even the smaller discomforts and I would simply have to ride the tides of fortune each time I got confronted, or each time bad news would roll my way. Yet, I am delighted to announce that here I am, finally able to roll with the natural punches life doles out to me and realistically keep my head above water. Thanks to running I able to deal with pretty much anything and work with it and maintain my body and my breathing quite even even in the most stressful of situations. Wow, what a gift!

Post Long Run Ramblings

                  I ran from South Chevy Chase DC to the US Capitol today and back, 12 miles total. Took me 2 hours and 12 minutes to complete. It's so interesting to run through the different neighborhoods with each one you get a very distinct and different feel. By my house there are tons of runners everywhere, also you'll see some people heading down the hill to the metro and lots of families out in their cars on Connecticut avenue. In Dupont, it's a lot more busy. Lots of people in restaurants, streets are very congested. I absolutely LOVE Dupont and it's level of energy gets me energized for sure. Once I get down to the monument there are tons of tourists, large sets of families wandering from museum to museum, construction jobs, food trucks and much wider streets. 

                    When I got home the kids were ripe and ready to go out of the apartment so I had to skip my usual long healing hot, HOT bath and we headed to the public library with the whole family. This morning (a day a later) I feel a tiny bit sore, but feeling on top of the world generally. I am taking the day off to take Nora to the Chinese New Year Parade downtown. If only I had a jogging stroller I could simply job down there and avoid the huge weekend metro delays we are sure to encounter. 

                     One thing that's been on my mind is figuring out a way to up my miles during the week. On some podcast I heard that the long run should be at least as long or a bit less than whatever race you are training for and the total miles for the week should be three times your long run, for me that would be 39 miles a week. Right now I am far from that. My long runs are 10-12 miles and during the week I run at most 22 miles. Being a working mom makes this a bit tricky. But I think one way to work this would be to be very vigilant about going to bed earlier and  setting aside a whole hour to run in the mornings, versus just 40 minutes. 

                     Thankfully, this upping of miles will not happen overnight. I will have to slowly go up, so for starters I will begin my hour long runs only mondays, then add the time to my other 3 running days.....I plan on going to bed at 9pm, getting up at 5am (8 hours sleep), get both kids' lunches ready, make my vegetables juice for the day, make my lunch and coffee and Nora's breakfast, then head outdoors at 5:45am for an hour....will update how this went down later.....I am afraid of setting myself up for failure. Also, if tired I absolutely cannot function properly, so, I need to make sure I am getting plenty of sleep. As I get older I get more and more protective of  my 'beauty sleep'. The entire balance of my life, my sanity, my well being, my relationships all depend on me being and feeling right and that cannot happen unless I get proper rest. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A growing relationship body

                        Running really forces you to have a relationship with your body. Not just any relationship. A very intensely aware and respectful relationship with your body. I look back now at my days of doing the Master Cleanser and feeding my body lemon juice for 8 days and later thinking what would my body be thinking this very moment. Most likely asking, 'why are you not feeding me?'. I have nothing against fasting really, but when only feeding my own body nothing but lemon juice with paprika for 8 days I did feel very guilty not treating my body better. I did not see it as a healthy approach and so I vowed never to treat my body this way again. I would much rather do a vegetable juice fast though, that intuitively sounds more healthy. My body will be fed, fed very cells will feast on yummy things. I am actually considering doing a juice fast but need to plan it first. It cannot be when I travel, or have some birthday, or holiday.....I need a few days in a row that have nothing in particular going on. I am doing daily juicing anyway. Daily I drink about 34 oz. of vegetable juice which I make in the morning, but I am curious to know how better nutrition would do to my running.

                       Last week I ran for 11 miles straight. I know this may be an easy task for some seasoned runners out there, but to me this was simply amazing and eye opening experience. Not only that but my body healed very quickly because I have been slowly doing more and more. After doing this how could I not have a renewed sense of respect for what my body and what it is able to accomplish. I once had a friend whom I complained to about my tummy. I told her that after 2 c-sections I was very unhappy with my mommy tummy. She suggested I talk to my tummy. I know, I made a face too and filed away the comment as senseless. But much, much later....years later, I still remember her words and now they have taken on a new meaning. Perhaps she meant instead of being mad at your body, have a relationship with it. I now embrace my body and feel proud of what it's proven to me it's able to do....

                      As a young woman going to high school in NYC I don't think I ever felt good about my body. My body was always this other entity that I needed to work with and tolerate. Waif-thin was always the goal and although I was not overweight, I was certainly not 'thin'. I look at my high school pictures now and think how much I'd love to be that body now.....what the HELL was I complaining about!! I guess years later I can only make it better by maybe saving my daughter from the same fate and making sure she grows up loving her body. But in all my years living with this mind body disconnect, running has been able to finally stop the mental chatter about my body not being right, not good enough, not this and not that. Running has delivered me to me....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Terry Fox touches my life....

                           I was on Netflix looking for a movie.....I first thought I wanted to watch a horror, but the minute I saw the images on the covers I knew I could not handle them anymore. Ever since my daughter's birth I can no longer down horror movies. Next, I perused romance....nah! then the Terry Fox movie, Into the Wind, caught my eye. Boy, am I happy to learn about this amazing young man.....If you have not seen this movie, please do yourself a favor. Your heart will thank you, watch it!!! I trust that if I only surround myself with people who amaze and inspire me I might get a tiny bit of them rubbing off on me. 

I noticed his birthday falls on my birthday....what an honor. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Updates on longer runs, running stores and new buys

Quick updates....
***I ran 11 miles this past Saturday.....I have never run that much at one time in my life....Needless to say I felt amazing. I was also happy to find that the next day I experienced very little cramping. 

***Making time to run is one of my big issues lately.  Although I am still running about 20-22 miles a week, more and more if it is being chewed up by my long runs, making the weekday runs easier and easier to miss.......In addition, the cold makes running outdoors so unappealing, despite knowing that the minute I get out there I am loving it within minutes of starting. It's the 'getting out there' that takes a high level of resolve, resolve I lack when trying to make up needed sleep.

***I found a running store a few blocks form my house. PR Running. I went in and bought Under Armor women's shorts, 2 pairs of Wright socks, and a leg compression sleeve. The man who helped me was quite friendly, even measured my calf to measure me for the right compression calf sleeve. I was happy to get a free copy of Competitor magazine, which I love. Can't wait to have a minute to go through it. Being a full time teacher with 2 young kids leaves you with very little me time....reading is quite a luxury. 

***In the next few weeks I will see how my body handles the upping of long-run miles. I know myself and only in seeing that I am handling these higher miles well will I begin to even entertain the possibility of preparing for a marathon in late 2013, or early 2014. No sense rushing this decision. In time it will become clear whether or not I can wrap my mind around this new possibility.

*** Tossing around the idea of doing a juice fast before going to my mom's next weekend. I will need the weekend to plan and buy enough vegetables and fruits to make double what I normally drink. I am curious to see if juicing more daily affects my level of performance while running. Will update you all on that as I find out. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

One benefit to running

I have now been running since July of last year and there have been many benefits to adding running to my daily routine. Today I am going to only talk about one of those benefits; its ability to teach you how to handle discomfort more gracefully. 

On any given run one comes across killer hills, sudden leg cramps, even slight discomforts that may come, yet, within just a few blocks all is back to normal again, this may happen several times in a run and at the end of each discomfort everything always feels just fine....a few blocks later. Similarly, in my daily life, I have noticed that when I come across annoying, uncomfortable and mood-altering situations in I now react to them much differently than I did before running entered my life. I know that with time, anger, moodiness, contempt will all pass and I'll be fine. All that's required is full, unquestionable acceptance of the negative mood (not fighting it) and patience. 

Last week I woke up moody, I went through the whole morning with this added heavy cloud hanging over me. Typically, needing to rid myself of the discomfort of this bad mood, I would have either started a fight with my loved ones, or would have turned every situation to some negative result where I would have to later dole out apologies of all sorts. This time though was different, I chose instead to simply allow the dark mood to live in me as long as it needed to be there, that I would not fight it. I treated the negative feeling like a ball of bad energy that would soon fade to nothing and leave my body. Sure enough by the evening I was fine, the cloud had lifted, the mood had left my body as trusted it soon would. I felt so incredibly proud of myself for I came out of one of these moods unscathed. In the past I would have surely done some damage along the way in my attempts to rid myself of the discomfort of the bad mood. Not this time. This time, I had not gotten into any fights with anyone, I did not snap at anyone, I did not even negatively react to the many normally annoying situations that popped up on any given day. 

I see running as the Universe's gift to me this year; I simply cannot imagine my life without it. The benefits that running have brought to my life in just 6 months are so numerous and so amazingly life-changing that I cannot help to want to try and convince everyone of them....

Why I love running so much!!

   I have been trying to figure out why it is that I love running so much. In my attempts to unravel this small personal mystery I have been watching all these movies about running and following people online who run, read articles, magazines...on and on. In one of the movies, I don't remember which, one runner hit the nail on the head. She mentioned how in today's world, there are very few true feelings of triumphs we get to experience on a daily basis and she added that to her, running a long run and actually completing it brings out that feeling of triumph each time. After hearing this, it all made sense and I was then able to clearly understand why I love running.

          To me, running is a metaphor for life, yet, one that's encapsulated in a tiny microscopic hour's run. Life in a bottle is you may. No doubt the run somewhat begins as a struggle. At almost 40, my knees complain as I begin my runs, my ankles take a few blocks to adjust and not feel so achy. Yet, the feeling of triumph experienced after the run has ended far surpasses any struggle experienced during the run that it makes it all worth it 1000%. This feeling has been so incredibly powerful that I don't see myself ever not running again. This thing, this habit, this tool is now mine and I am keeping it as part of my life as long as I live. In fact, the other day, I had gone two days without running, things got busy and life took hold of all free time. I did not worry for I knew it was not gone. Soon, I began having this incredible urge to run that came from deep inside and would not let me off the hook. The feeling could only be likened to a nagging craving for something you can almost taste it. This craving won't go away unless fulfilled. It's become a bit of an addiction I'd dare say, for it only takes for me to even see another runner to again feel the need to go out there myself and feel the pavement beneath my feet. I have never been happier and more balanced than these few months of (almost) daily running and most of it has to do with the benefits running has brought forth in my life. I feel strong, healthy, awake, alive.....who would want to go back to anything else?