Monday, February 9, 2015

Why I Run

Happy Monday! I don't know about you guys, but I am absolutely exhausted. I woke up at 4:40am so that I could get in a swim before school, because finding a lane at the MAC on a weekday afternoon is almost impossible. So obviously my morning started out on the earlier side. I got to school around 6:45am and I didn't stop moving until 11:45am. I, along with two other English I teachers, administered a Mock STAAR to our students, and though we had already spent a significant amount of time setting up tables for our 200ish students, this morning was a nonstop whirlwind of setting up dividers, gathering dictionaries and thesauri, and getting kids signed in and situated. Once they had actually begun the test, we had to walk around and keep the students on task, pass dictionaries and thesauri from one student to the other, and basically cater to their every need. They aren't allowed to leave their seats without permission, so even if they needed a tissue, we had to go to them. I got my exercise, that is for sure! And shout out to my mom for coming up to help administer the exam. You know she loved being back at her alma mater! 

I have not yet graded any of their exams, but in just walking around I was so proud of the way they behaved during the exam. They appeared to be taking it seriously, utilizing strategies we had discussed in class, and I have high hopes for their scores. I hope it gave them a little bit of confidence in the way they will perform on the actual STAAR exam, but all I know is that simply administering the exam wore me out, so I can only imagine how they must have felt after taking it. Which is why my afternoon classes had movie day. Teacher of the Year, am I right? Hey, it was a well-deserved movie.

Why I Run

Ever since my freshman year of college, when I was no longer playing volleyball and needed something to keep me in shape, I have been running. That is no secret, and though there have been months of ... less mileage ... I have stayed pretty consistent with it. I ran at least one half marathon each year of college, and I am constantly looking for new marathons to cross off my list (typically a destination race, if I'm being honest).

Nike Women's Marathon 2013
While perusing Pinterest (this has become an all-too-common phrase on the blog these days), I have come across different mantras describing why people run. I have read a couple of articles that highlight different reasons people run, and I wanted to join in on the fun. With another half marathon coming up, today seemed like the perfect time to do just that!

1. Running started out as something to do so that I wouldn't gain that freshman 15. And believe me, I was terrified of that phenomenon. And while it is certainly a great way to stay slim, quite frankly, distance training can often make you gain weight. But I run because it makes me feel good. No matter the distance, there's no better feeling than the one that follows a run. But I won't lie, I do love how it makes my legs look.

2. I love running for the fact that it can be done absolutely anywhere. For someone who loves both traveling and exercise, running is the best of both worlds. It doesn't matter if the place I'm staying has a gym, because running is always an option. And what's better is that running in a new city can help you to discover some of the city's most hidden gems. Sometimes, getting lost can be a good thing.

Running our way through Barcelona
3. Running has given me a no-excuses mental toughness. It's 36 degrees with a drizzle in the air? (Yes, I realize to some of you Northerners, that's nothing.) Those miles aren't going to log themselves. You've already run 12 hilly miles through the streets of Austin? Here's one more for good measure. If I can do that, I can do anything.

Miracle Mile, anyone?
4. I am not a yoga person. Nor will I probably ever be a yoga person. And it's not because I don't love a good stretch, rather, my mind is often moving much faster than my body. I'm not much of a meditative person, but I am a thinker, and running gives me that much-needed time to think. As someone who has to be "on" all day, those 45 minutes I spend running help me to escape everything else I've had to deal with that day and just go.

5. Building off of that, running is cheaper than therapy. It releases frustration, stress, fear, anger, insecurity, and makes me feel confident, secure, strong, and fearless. And though running may be cheaper than therapy, it's still up in the air as to whether race fees are.

But it all evens out when you get a Tiffany necklace at the end, right?
6. I love the running community. I love meeting and chatting with new people at the starting line of races, making an instant connection because we realize that we're all a little bit (or a lot) crazy.

7. Running gives me energy. Call me crazy, but I love waking up at 4:45 in the morning to get in a run before school. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I go to school with more energy than I would have if I had slept in that extra hour. I feel focused and productive and ready to conquer the world (or at least my to-do list).

8. Ever since I can remember I've been a competitive person. I won't lie, I'm still a little bit bitter over the loss to Cinco Ranch my senior year that would have sent us to state. Even when I play pick-up volleyball with my friends, I still find myself playing competitively. Running is no exception. Not every run is going to be a PR, but I love pushing myself to the limit and realizing that some days are going to be tougher than others. Which is very true of life, as well.

9. I run because I can. I take my health for granted each and every day of my life. But every day I should be thanking God that I have two healthy legs that allow me to conquer these crazy miles. Heck, I should be thankful they allow me to run even one mile! There are so many people who can't run, for whatever reason, and not taking advantage of this incredible gift He has given me would almost be a crime.

One of my favorite running views
10. Most of all, running brings me joy. In a way that I can't seem to put into words. I think Holden Caulfield, the main character in one of my all-time favorite books, Catcher in the Rye, said it best when he said, "I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it." Because sometimes I don't know why I'm running, but I'm in in for the long run.

Insert "running"
Were you inspired to lace up your running shoes? Or do you just think I'm a little more crazy than you thought I was before? Regardless, enjoy the rest of your Monday!

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