Exercise For Your Sanity

A year ago this weekend I ran my first (and probably last) Marathon!  Yes, 26.2 miles!  It was horribly awful and yet exhilarating and fulfilling at the same time. 

I LOVE running.  I did not even like running 26.2 but it has been my life goal for a long time.  In preparation for running a whole marathon I started slow.  Couch to 5k style then up to a 10k finally I ran a half marathon.

Let me be clear - I am a runner at heart - I started at age 8 inspired by my dad and his running and ran through high school.  During college I ran off and on however once I had my first daughter exercise in general took the back seat.  Faster forward 6.5 years and I was ready to lose the baby weight.  But something happened this time around and losing the baby weight became second fiddle to so much else.

Each of these races proved difficult but thrilling.  Each one was a stepping stone to my ultimate goal.  Every race had its own preparation and took step after step of grueling training.  Missing family time, getting up early, watching what I ate, being far slower than ever before, the soreness of long runs!  There was a myriad list of reasons why anyone would give up on this lofty goal. 

Yet I was thriving and hadn't felt better in years!  Running is MY thing.  It is my exercise that radiates through my body, mind and soul - it is the only form of exercise which allows me to slim down and feel great.  Each pounding step releases stress, frustration, and fear.  I have a shirt that says "Mommy of 3 Running For Her Sanity" and it is so true.  When I run regularly I am more balanced and patient. 

While running is definitely my thing - and I truly believe in the runner's "high"; I think there is something out there for everyone.  You might be the queen of exercise DVDs, Crossfit, speed walking, roller blading, you name it you can do it.  And you SHOULD do it.  Find your THING and start it really does make a world of difference!

I have also found that half marathons are my distance of choice but due to life constraints will be sticking to 5k and 10k races as I actually have time to train for those! 

So I encourage you - look into your past or find something new but do something for you!

- Ash of All Trades


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