I'm pretty sure if you see any or all of the many (many) post-run photos Mike or I share on Instagram you'd think I love running. Well ... I don't. I don't love running. Actually, I don't even like it. Most of the time, I spend my entire run convincing myself not to quit. I keep thinking that the more I run, the more I'll love it. This hasn't happened yet and we're months into a steady running practices. BUT ... here's the deal: when I'm done running I feel great. I feel strong. I feel more balanced. I feel like I can conquer the world. So I keep running.
For the most part I run for two reason: my mental health and to strengthen my relationship with Mike. Neither one of those reasons is because I love it or because I want to be a super fast and competitive runner
Running makes a huge difference when it comes to my emotional wellbeing. It keeps me more even and level headed. It helps me relax. It wears out my mind (and body), which helps me with my sleep, something I struggle with. As I type this, I'm going through running withdrawals. Normally, we run three times a week and walk the other four days. Last week I was traveling for business and it was hard to fit running into my schedule thanks to a wonky schedule. I only was able to hit the gym once and now I'm paying for it. I'm irritable, cranky and more argumentative than I've been in months. I really can tell a huge difference in how I manage stress when I'm running versus not running. I honestly like myself better when I'm running, which is all the more reason to stick with a regular running schedule.
The second reason I run is because it's transformed my relationship with my husband. Mike and I have a great relationship. We seriously never fight. But we are also very different people with different interests and hobbies. I love to paint and craft. He's a huge movie buff and poker fan. Running is something that we share and had brought us together. Neither one of us is a pro when it comes to running, so it's been so nice to be a beginner with someone I love and trust. We're really in this running journey together and we motivate each other to do more than we thought possible and stretch our abilities. Spending an uninterrupted hour together every, single day has been transformative for us. We're healthier. We're more connected. We are present in each others' lives. We're accomplishing shared goals. It's sort of nuts that all of this has been from running.
So each day, I'll keep running. Not for the love of running, but for my mental health and the health of my most important relationship. Maybe some day I'll tell you I love it, but for now these two reasons are enough.