Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Has Running Done for Me?

Many months back, I mentioned that I had taken up running. I listed some tips that I had picked up for beginners like me. Now that I have been running for 10 months, I wanted to share some of the things that this activity has done for me.

1) Help me lose weight when I watch what I eat and allow me to maintain when I am not very diligent. To date, I have lost roughly 25 pounds since I began my journey in January. Most of that was lost in the first few months. I've kind of plateaued since this summer. I admit that I haven't been very good about portion sizes and making healthy choices, nor have I always been consistent with my work out schedule. But, I do know that if I continue running on a regular basis and start watching what I eat, the weight will continue to come off. What other reason do I need to keep running than that? If I did need another reason, then the health benefits would do the trick.

2) Tone muscles in my legs that I never knew I had. I have never liked my legs and can't say that they're now top on my list of favorite attributes. However, I do love being able to feel the muscles in the back and side of my thighs. If I keep with it long enough, I might even feel comfortable in shorts some day.

3) Appease my guilt when I go to the doctor's office for a check up and get asked how much I exercise. I can proudly say that I run three times a week in addition to other physical activity and not have to lie!

4) Introduce me to a whole community of wonderful people. I have always heard that runners are some of the nicest, most supportive people you'll encounter and I have come to find that to be true. If you haven't already, check out Daily Mile for a wonderful community. It allows you to post your workouts and links up to Facebook, too.

5) Given me confidence that I can do anything I dream up. This is probably the best gift that running has given me. I never imagined that I could be a runner, let alone actually compete in races. Running isn't about competing against others -- it is about challenging yourself, setting goals that you believe might be impossible, and then pushing yourself to meet those challenges. It is a truly empowering experience. And that right there is why I continue to run.

My very first race - Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k - Virginia Beach
2nd race - Blue Moon Wicked 10k - Virginia Beach

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