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So Thankful To Be A Runner

Hi everyone!  I’m so excited that it’s Thanksgiving week, AKA the week where I only have to work 3 days, will spend 1 day eating an insane amount of food, spend another day sitting in my (Christmas) pjs buying lots of black friday deals online, and I finally can put up my Christmas tree without looking crazy!  Yaaaaaaay!

kanyethanksgiving

On Sunday I realized that it has been an entire week since my last run.  Now normally this would cause me tons of stress over my fading fitness level and make me feel super guilty about how lazy I’ve been the past week.  But this time, I actually feel awesome!  I’ve had such a stressful spring and summer, and the added stress of running half marathons that I just couldn’t seem to get into training for was really draining.  Ever since moving to Anchorage I’ve been slowly easing back into running regularly, and just being able to take time off and have a chance to miss running has been really nice!  And believe me, I’ve missed it this past week!  It was a super busy week for me and Andrew, and I’m so looking forward to a short workweek and the opportunity to run in daylight again (if I can get myself to leave work by 3:00 since the sun sets at 4:00!).  So since I was missing it so much, I went out for a quick run on the coastal trail.  And it was AWESOME and I felt like a badass for running on ice (more on this tomorrow!).  There is something seriously magical about running, and sometimes it takes a little break from it to realize how amazing it really is.  As I was running along, I started to think about how thankful I am to be a runner.  And even though it’s not Thankful Thursday, I’m still going to post this today because it’s so important!  There are tons of reasons why I’m thankful to be a runner, but these are my top picks:

-How awesome it feels to run through the woods all alone and hear nothing but the sound of my feet.  I’m a solo runner and I love it!

IMG_2896Throwback to my runs at Ridley Creek State Park!  Best running trail ever.

-The ability to leave all of my stress and anxiety behind, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.  No matter how crappy I feel, a run almost always makes me feel better.  Unless I’m sick or really tired.

-Setting running goals, and then reaching them.  I dreamed for years about running a half marathon, and I’ve run 4 this year!

-Having an excuse to go out in the snow  🙂

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-The awesome feeling I get when I have a running breakthrough.  PRs are amazing, but sometimes it feels just as good when I run a new distance in training, run really far without stopping, run faster than I expected, or feel really good after a run.  Those surprise moments of awesomeness are worth the tough runs that it takes to get there!

-How good it feels to cross the finish line of a race.  I’ve never been good at sports, and it feels awesome to sprint across the finish line with people cheering.  Especially since after every run, I’ve got the best one-man cheer squad waiting for me  🙂

20140225-231448.jpgAfter my first half!  He took the monorail from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and then back again just to see me run!

-Also, how good it feels to drink chocolate milk after a race or a long run.  I have no idea why, but chocolate milk tastes soooooo much better after running for hours!  This also applies to pizza  🙂

-The fact that I know how to handle discomfort and talk myself through rough situations.  Races and long runs are great opportunities to train your mind to stay positive and keep going even when it’s tough.  Like mile #8 of every half marathon.

-Getting to travel to new places for races.  I’m using the Zion Half as an excuse to travel to a part of the country I’ve never seen before, and I’m so excited!

-Being able to explore trails that I wouldn’t normally go on, and see things that I’d never be able to see if I wasn’t a runner.  It’s so much fun to run in beautiful places!

20140731-203721.jpgRunning on the Homer Spit this summer

-Finally being able to find a sport that I enjoy.  After years in high school and college feeling like I was just not good at sports, I’ve finally found one where I can go at my own pace and create my own ways to measure success!

-Knowing that no matter what my day was like or what the weather was like or how much time it’s been since my last run, I can always go for a run.  It is always there for me!

20140615-234706.jpgI don’t get much happier than this!

For years I ran but never considered myself to be a runner.  But now I know that if you run a few times a week and the thought of running puts a smile on your face, you’re a runner!  I’m so thankful that for the past few years I’ve been able to enjoy running.  Here’s to many more!

Are you thankful to be a runner?  What are you thankful for?  You know you’re thankful for that post-run chocolate milk too  🙂

 

15 thoughts on “So Thankful To Be A Runner

  1. After being injured for a the better part of a month I am SO thankful to be able to run again. I LOVE being outside by myself and just hearing the sounds of nature as I run. I also agree that achieving a new distance is just as great as a PR sometimes! Love the sense of accomplishment!

    1. So true! It’s awesome you started running at all – it’s the best thing ever! I keep trying to get my mom into doing it but she’s not really feeling it. She also tells me that I need to rest more and not run so much so there’s that 🙂 Gotta love non-runners!

  2. Yes to all of those things! My last marathon was on Canadian Thanksgiving and I had similar thoughts on the day, feeling thankful not only for my legs and feet for carrying me the distance, but also for my heart pumping, lungs breathing, and for my brain for not shutting me down! Great post 🙂

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