Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fitness, running and feeling good

I haven't posted in over a month, due to all the running I've been doing. I have gotten right back into the swing of my running training and, let me just say, it feels GOOD! My weight is exactly the same (I guess I am lucky in that regard, it hardly changes) but my fitness has improved and I feel fantastic.

Yes, I am stiff and sore most days. My son even said to me "You are always limping nowadays, Mom" because of the way I walk after long runs. Hee hee. He asks me why I am running so much, and the short answer is because I have entered Comrades and that is my ultimate goal, but the new, more complex answer is that, even though running distance hurts, and burns, and gets really challenging, nothing beats the feeling afterwards. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment I get after every long run. It's really incredible. I can't quite describe it, it's insane, and it's one I didn't realize existed. But it makes sense: I mean, why else would people willingly go and run marathons or even ultra-marathons? It's for that feeling.

A nice 5k or 10k run is awesome, and I've always done those (more 5kms, less of the 10kms) and I've enjoyed them, and enjoyed the "runner's high" afterwards. But now that I am capable of doing longer distances, I am realising that the feeling of accomplishment is that much greater with a longer run. I feel on top of the world after going a long distance. It's weird, I know. It doesn't make sense. But there you have it.

So, as a note to myself: I am finally back into my "fitness groove". I now realise that fitness and exercise is far less about the body and a lot more about the mind. It's a total mood elevator! I GET it now. I have never truly understood this side of being fit and active because I was never really active until my thirties. Yes, I was one of those teens who avoided PE in school like the plague, always faking some illness or the other to get out of it if I could. I hated swimming with a passion. I enjoyed Netball, but wasn't very good at it. I just never felt sporty. I was the nerdy, brainy one and I didn't realise I could be both.

It took having a baby and wanting to get into the best shape of my life thereafter, for me to seriously get into gym. And back then, I really got into that whole thing completely, and I remember this fit and healthy feeling. It was awesome. I loved it. But I wasn't sure if it was the fitness or the gym-diet that was giving me the good vibes. Now, I know. I no longer live in the gym, and I am not following any specific diet. I am running, I am avoiding sugar, and the rest is pretty much as I feel like. I don't eat many carbs, I just don't want them, but I am not super strict. I am listening to my body as much as possible.

BUT HERE IS MY POINT: Doing physical activity that raises my heart-rate and challenges me, really makes me feel good!!!!! I mustn't do it for the body, I must do it for the good feeling.

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