race day

Yesterday was the annual Bridge to Brisbane fun run and, my goodness, it was a very interesting day! It had been a few years since I last participated, but my workplace entered a team, so I was pretty keen to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I got a cold last week, so I was still recovering from it yesterday (still have a bit of residual cough now), so I was not expecting to have a good result, but we’ll get to that later. I want to go over the whole morning. (Yes, there may quite possibly be a lot of menial details in this post, but I want to document as much as possible.)  Continue reading

feel better?

I’ve come to realise that whenever I come home from a run/jog, somewhere between the gate and the door, I tend to ask myself something like “feel better?” (I’m usually too exhausted by this time to formulate a complete sentence. And, yes, the answer is always “feel better”.)

This has led me to ponder about why I run. Actually, this is something that I tend to ponder about at some point during my run/jog – maybe in the early stages, while I’m still giving myself a bit of an internal pep talk, or maybe in the final stages, so that I can tick off the boxes.

I remember reading a feature article by Kathleen Noonan a while ago about why people run. I don’t really remember the main point of the article, but I vaguely remember her saying that we should run for the sake of running – because we enjoy it, and not because we need to de-stress or get in shape or stuff like that. At least, I think that was the overarching message… Again, I only have very vague recollections of the article. Nevertheless (there’s a word I used to use a lot in essays! I hardly get to use it anymore…) I think it was this article that started this habit of reflection while running.

I suppose the main reason I go running/jogging is because I enjoy it. I feel good when I run, and I feel good afterwards. I like that I just need to put my running shoes on, and I can run wherever I want to, for however long I can manage.

But there are plenty of other reasons, and I think they’re still valid reasons regardless of what anyone else says. Health and fitness is a big one. Believe it or not but, as a health professional, I am actually quite mindful of my own health and well-being. Kind of contradictory to that, I also like to eat a lot, so “guilt” is another reason why I run. Coincidentally, that was my primary reason for going for a run this afternoon. It works both ways though: sometimes I run because I’ve overeaten, and sometimes I run so that I can eat more later.

I also find running (or almost any exercise, really) to be, ironicly, quite energising. Of course, you’re probably thinking that this is just the post-run “high”, but I just find something quite exhilirating about being totally exhausted. The aforementioned “guilt” also applies to sloth-ful-ness (is that even a word? or close to a word?). I spent the whole morning and early afternoon lounging around, reading and watching YouTube, so I figured I owed it to myself to get outside.

Another reason, which I would assume is quite common, is de-stressing or “clearing one’s head”. Apart from reflecting on why I’m running, I actually don’t tend to think about a great deal while running. Sometimes I’ll have a song playing over and over again in my mind, and sometimes I’ll think about something that happened recently, but sometimes my mind is just blank. It feels quite meditative.

One final reason to run, which I have been advised of recently, is to cure a hangover. Just, umm.. you know, something to keep in mind in case you ever need it…

just run

As it was a public holiday on Monday, I went out to catch up with some high school friends. I got home at about 5:30pm after a very long lunch and, because it was such perfect weather (and since it’s Summer, the sun would be out for at least another hour), I decided to go for a run.

I was a bit sore the following day, returning to work, but I don’t regret it for a second. It’s one of the best feelings – going for a run in beautiful weather.

That’s something I’ve realised the more I run: I never regret going for a run. I might question whether going for a run would be a good idea, peering at the dark clouds gathering in the sky, or contemplating the humidity and stillness of the air, but once the decision is made and the first steps are taken, I know I’m doing the right thing.

But that’s not to say that every run is brilliant. Just a couple of days prior to the exhilirating Monday run, I thought I’d do a bit of interval running. I had my mind set on running because I’d been lounging around at home all day, but somehow the energy wasn’t quite there. I was still tired from all the running and exercise throughout the week that was, and the humidity was unbelievable. So that endeavour only lasted about half an hour, but I never regretted leaving the comfort of the lounge chair.

Another thing I like about running is that you don’t need any equipment. You just need a half-decent pair of sneakers and some comfortable clothes, and you’re set.

Just writing this and thinking about running makes me want to go for a run. Too bad I have to go to bed soon… I guess I can wait until tomorrow…

grey skies clearing

One of my first thoughts when I woke up this morning was “I can’t believe it’s still raining”.

I generally only like rain when I’m staying at home/indoors for the time that it is raining, or if I’m sick of constant blue sky and scorching sun (but I reckon there’d have to be several weeks of fine weather before I craved some rain).

Anyway, the rain stopped some time in the afternoon (not sure when because I was at work, inside a building all day). And blue patches of sky started to appear! Seeing blue sky after having lots of rain is always so uplifting.

When I was walking home from the bus stop at around 6pm, I noticed that there were a lot of people out jogging. A lot of people. It was like all these people hadn’t been outside in days, just waiting for the rain to stop so that they could burst out of their homes and release all of their pent-up jogging energy.

They weren’t even in running groups or anything. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen so many jogging people around my park before. I had to slow down and check both ways several times before turning off one footpath onto another. (Ok, that might’ve made it seem worse than it was, but you’re getting the idea, yeah?)