23: Tuesday Topics | Why I am thankful for running this year

 I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2021

Can you believe that it’s Thanksgiving this week? The holiday season is upon us and it’s a good time to reflect on the things that I am thankful for in my life. Let’s talk about running (and exercising in general) today because it’s been such an important part of my daily life – especially through this pandemic.

Running keeps me sane.

I am probably not the only person who will say this, but getting out for a run to clear my head has been keeping me sane this year. When there were not many places to go and not many things to do, I’ve always been thankful that I felt safe to lace up my shoes and go for an outdoor run.

Running gives me a purpose.

As most people, I am a creature of habit and running has given me a structure and purpose that I can rely on. I function much better when I have a schedule that I can stick to and I feel accomplished when I can check another run or workout of my list. I will admit, I still thrive on collecting my little gold stars.

Running provides community.

Even though I usually run alone, I’ve really come to love the running community that I’ve found online through Instagram and blogs. It’s fabulous to connect with like-minded people who enjoy talking about training strategies, commiserate about “bad days”, and lift you up through motivation and encouragement. You guys inspire me every day and I can’t thank you enough!

Running lets me explore.

Running gives me the opportunity to get out and explore my town. I pay so much more attention to my surroundings when I am out for a run (mostly because it distracts me from the – sometimes – hard part of running, ha!) and I just love getting to know my own town this way.

Running makes me feel confident and capable.

Running makes me believe in myself and my own abilities. It boosts my confidence and humbles me at the same time. It always provides me with new goals to work towards and lets me experience the triumph of reaching new milestones. I trained and ran two virtual races this year, I even managed another PR.

Why are you thankful for running?

I am linking up with I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics.

  1. Running totally keeps me sane. Running provides a good outlet for me to let my mind wander and solve problems. There have been times where I’ve been on long runs and have come up with solutions to work or life problems. I’m thankful for having a healthy outlet during a stressful time!

    1. Yes! I’ve definitely worked out all kinds of problems on long runs! It’s amazing how that works :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I’m just so grateful I CAN run. I don’t love it precisely, but I was sidelined for years because of an injury and actually being able to run, even for a short distance, feels like such a victory. I’m grateful to be healthy and strong.

  3. I totally agree with you on everything ;-) I feel bad for those unfortunate people who have not (yet) discovered the magic of running, and the community that embodies it.

  4. Years ago I read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running…and it made me want to be a runner. Have you read it? Such a great memoir…(but I love basically every memoir on ultrarunning/elite athletes).

    I do not have the body type for running (short and curvy) and it definitely doesn’t come naturally. Even when I was in my best running shape, it still felt like a lot of hard work. But when I’m in a natural rhythm of running I do love it – mostly because I just can’t believe what my body can do. Running is hard! And it feels like a competition with myself to overcome all the physical and mental barriers to doing it.

    Not going to lie – 2021 has felt rough in the running department. I came off 2019 where I was getting so close to 15K (my goal) and then never made it. I put 15K on my 20 for 2020 list and felt confident it would happen and then COVID happened instead and the 15K…didn’t happen. This year I lowered the bar to 10K (which I had done multiple times in 2019, easily) and…it’s not going to happen. This summer I had a total burnout and barely exercised at all which was really tough – I usually exercise every day and just. couldn’t. do. it. any. longer.

    But this fall I’m running shorter distances (2-5km) multiple times a week and learning (mostly successfully) to be happy with that. I feel like a fraud calling myself a runner, but then I have to remember back to when I did my first Couch to 5K a decade ago and I COULDN”T RUN FOR MORE THAN 30 seconds. In that context, 5K doesn’t seem so bad! I run, so I am a runner…and it sure does have a nice ring to it, eh?!

    Also, Laura Vanderkam says if you do something 3x/week it’s a habit. This has felt revolutionary lately. I would have streaks of running every day for a month or hitting a certain mileage target but they felt burdensome because I needed to check off that box (compulsion!) and it left so little space for flexibility (read kids with the flu, husband travelling etc). With my new 3x/week goal, I feel liberated. I can miss a few days and not stress out, but it’s regular enough that I stay in running shape.

  5. A resounding yes to all of these! I especially agree that running lets me explore, and that the online community is amazing. I’ve gotten so much advice and encouragement from fellow bloggers- it’s astounding! (see what I did there- heh heh!)

  6. Those are some cool reasons to be thankful for. I love those little gold stars for achieving something to. I guess we are prove that gamification works. I think the reasons you list here I mostly accomplish with drawing. I have to observe that a bit to confirm.

  7. Yes to all of these!! And your point about exploration – exploring places on my long runs has been the best way to get through those sore muscles and hours on the road!

  8. 100% to all these points! Running – and exercise, in general (hello Peloton) keeps me calm, sane, and grounded.

  9. The confidence running gives is us amazing!

    I actually find I see so much more when walking/hiking, but the last couple of years has really pushed me to find new places to do all three. They are also my favorite things to do when I go somewhere new!

  10. Running definitely helps to keep me sane too. I agree that the running community is awesome. I have met so many amazing friends through running.

  11. Great points here! I am glad it has helped you as well.

  12. I’m finally back to considering myself a runner for the first time in years! Our running season is winding down since it’s getting cold but I’ve been trying to run with my neighbor 1-2 times/week. It’s given me an opportunity to really get to know her and now I consider her a very good friend. In fact, her and her husband are having a very small 40th bday party at their house (vaxxed couples only) and we are one of the couples they invited!

    I’ve also enjoyed solo runs as they give me a chance to get a break from life and be out in nature.

  13. STILL reading NaBloPoMo posts. You all did an amazing job and I’m loving it, but goodness my comments are late! I love this post – particularly the one about how running helps keep you sane. I think I’ve mentioned that I’m no longer able to run – long story, but related to non-running physical challenges – but *exercise* (specifically, cardio) does the same for me. I do find that with slightly lower-impact activities, I have to go a bit longer for the same endorphin buzz. But oh, a day without movement is not a good day in my world!

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