Saturday, 7 February 2015

Chasing the Wind

I can honestly say that I’m a runner. In the past I wrote that I could run 4 or 5 km long routes. Once I run 10 km which was a big achievement for me, I wrote about it in a post: 
Ready for The New Challenge!

10 km was difficult for me but doable. Since then I made some progress.

One day, after accomplishing 10 km goals rarely, from time to time, I went running. There was a moment when my legs hurt and I was tired. I wanted to turn back and rest at home. It was a critical point. Physically I could continue my effort but there was a psychological barrier holding me back. I made my legs run on. After a while, running became much easier, I forgot about the discomfort and focused on enjoying the moment. This experience taught me that I’m capable of more than I expect. I also improved my physical efficiency. I also heard that when we meet our limits, the most calories are burned.

There’s a different situation when too much effort may cause an injury. I’m very careful when it comes to this matter. But that day I knew I would be fine. I mean, I could not be 100% sure but I took the risk and it paid off. I faced my limits and then took another step. I ran much more than 10 km. It became my standard from that moment forward. I slowly prolonged the distance. I didn’t forget about rest and recovery breaks. I usually ran every second day. Sometimes I choose shorter tracks and trained my intervals. Gradually, 3 or 5 km turned into 8, 10 or even more.

Running gives me a sense of freedom. I’m alone with my thoughts. My mind is clear and small successes like adding one more km, or sprinting up the steep hill are joyful entertainment. I noticed that running strangers greet each other. I was surprised when runners were greeting me as they passed me raising their hand or waving. It’s a nice custom, I like it because I feel like a part of a community. Now I am one of them. I admired runners for so many years and finally I can call myself one.

Of course, it was difficult at the beginning. It was frustrating when I had to walk after 30-50 metres of running because I was already tired. I had orientation points showing me how far from home I could run. At first, it was a big advertisement banner with work clothing and equipment. Then a fancy fence, a tree, a lantern. When I felt comfortable at a certain distance, I immediately diversified it. Our body quickly adjusts to a monotonous training and doesn’t burn as many calories as at the beginning because the effort becomes a standard for our body. Increasing the distance and the pace helps us continue our progress and development.

When I started, I needed motivation: my weight was alarming me whenever I looked at myself in the mirror. Running was not a pleasure for me when I started. It was a necessary activity taken in order to loose weight. Sure, it was fun: watching beautiful views, exercising with my dog, Helmut, eating raspberries and apples which grow by the road, spending time with my sister and training together. However, I’d rather stay indoors at that time. I had to get dressed in a tracksuit, leave home, spend at least half an hour in a fresh air, brrrrrrrr! I am lazy, I admit it. But lack of acceptance for my body was stronger than my laziness.

After a while, as I combined running with my P90X, I noticed how my body changed. I could wear tighter and smaller size clothes, throw away unnecessary baggy shirts and jeans. I found myself in a new reality. I was not a fat, ugly, lazy girl in my own eyes anymore. I was committed and enthusiastic. I saw the first effects. Running became a pleasure.

It’s addictive. Endorphines are released, our mood is better, we are healthier and stronger. There is also a phenomenon called the runner’s euphoria or the runner’s high. It’s a boost of energy while our body is exposed to a long lasting effort. I experienced it many times. My feet were light, I took a wild pleasure from chasing the wind. I was unstoppable. I love this feeling and I recommend it to anyone considering starting their running adventure, although I’m just an amateur and I don’t know much about the scientific research concerning running, I didn’t read smart books, nor ask professional trainers for advice.

 I learn from my own experience, and sometimes I visit forums or professional blogs. Running is really that simple because all we need is a pair of good shoes and some internal motivation. It’s less complicated than skiing, skating or even swimming. We are not likely to fall down, unless we stumble. Running is a primal ability, a natural way of movement, common to all healthy and properly developed people. That’s why I chose it. The euphoria is worth the effort of preparations, the sweat and consumed time.

I don’t need to look for motivation anymore. I love running so much, I impatiently wait for it. I think about it before I go to sleep and plan it during the day. Taking pleasure from running sometimes requires patience and takes some time. I was discouraged many times before I became addicted to it. It didn't come to me naturally, it cost me a lot of work, sweat and tears. But the more difficult it was in the past, the more satisfaction I take now after overcoming my weaknesses. I'm pleased with myself. I'm proud to call myself a runner.

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