A Run Fixes Everything

For me, a tranquil long outdoor ten-mile run cures nearly anything that is broken on any given day.  But what if I can’t run?   What if time doesn’t permit?  What if the cold temperature at the jersey shore is at its worst and running outside is unhealthy?  What if my treadmill is broken?  What if running is not an option?  What if it has been a week since my last run?

My world shifts and, similar to sliding  on first base, I safely and recklessly slide into off kilter mode.  The slightest stupid comment, that I would normally ignore and laugh off, annoys the heck out of me.  I find myself on edge sitting in the front seat of a high-speed emotionally and terrifying roller coaster. I am the back-draft of a deadly fire.  Beware.  When I feel like this, I should wear a shirt with neon lights with the words “warning” flashing. Folks will know to steer clear and walk around and avoid me because I’m not feeling my normal cheerful self.

You probably won’t know that I am off kilter.  I still wear my predictable smile that I am known for; however, underneath the smile rest agitation at its best.  In this mode, I work hard to suppress my real feelings because I don’t want people to know how I’m really feeling.  If you ask me how I’m doing, I won’t tell you the ugly truth.   I’ll lie or exaggerate (depending on how you look at it) and say, “I’m okay.”  When the truth is I am miserable.

One morning at 7:15 a.m., I am off kilter, driving to work.  A sweet whisper in my ear tells me to turn the car around, go get my running sneaks but don’t bother changing my clothes.  Just RUN!  Don’t worry about sweating out my outfit of the day. Running in makeup for one day won’t kill me.  I might look ridiculous running in a skirt, but I’ll feel a heck of a lot better.  I will just make up some dumb excuse about why I am late for work or why I didn’t make it into work. For sure, the run would fix everything.  In my CD collection (Yes, I still use CD’s -LOL) and on the radio, I randomly and frantically search for the right song to sooth my crazy mindset.

I love music. I could sleep, eat, and work with music 24/7.    The right song can bring me to peaceful place, make me want to never quit running, or help me with deep cleaning around the house.  

On this particular day I arrive at work feeling twisted and knotted like a bunch of sheets just pulled from the washer.   However, as the school periods go by, several melancholy situations instantly diminish the negative thoughts and energy floating around in my head.  I remember that life is bigger than the spoiled runner who can’t get her run on today.   I move along in my day pushing my personal gobbledygook to the rear of my mind where it belongs.  “Life is bigger than you Chica! Get over it!”

With the help of my girl Oprah, a few days later, I suddenly grasp the fact that, while I’ve been loyal to my commitment to eat clean (avoid processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables), lately I have neglected my mental and spiritual psyche.  My early morning and days end rituals of meditation, daily devotional reads, or stillness and quiet time has been invaded and assaulted by negative energy zapping substitutes.  The likes of reality TV shows like housewives, other pointless shows, and the negative side of social media has distracted me from handling my business of staying on course.  I don’t know how, it just happened… and without warning—I think. 

Although the incredible high from endorphins can temporarily infuse my spirit and make me feel happier and more balanced, the real fix isn’t just a run.  The real fix is restoring balance; the balance of physical and mental/spiritual fitness.

My focus this week is reconciliation.  Restore the balance that I am use to and avoid getting sucked into the negative energy again, even if I am unable to feed my addiction of running.

Enjoy your week!


Through diligence, I’m registered!

Two and half hours!  That’s how long it took me yesterday to register for the 33rd Annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run. When the run filled last year and I could not register, I was annoyed and ticked off.

This year I set my clock to the registration date and time.  Immediately I experienced a serious case of anxiety.  When I logged in to register online, the screen kept reporting, “not available”  What??  Not available?  I’ve been waiting for an entire year!  This is a joke right?  Simultaneously I tried registering on my computer and on my smart phone.

If you’re not a runner, it may be hard to understand the excitement one feels at registering and participating in such events.  Running is a healthy and safe addiction; I’m committed for life.  That is, until my joints or feet say other.

The ten-mile run attracts participants worldwide!  While I enjoy the comradely among runners, and accomplishing new personal goals, I am amazed by the four-minute (4) mile runners.  Yup!!  Human beings actually glide along at a pace of four minutes PER mile. Hilarious right?  When I see these machine-like athletes, I enthusiastically cheer them on because, even at my best, I never did a four, five, or six-minute miles.  On a good day, I can sustain a 9-minute mile for 10 miles, occasionally under 8-minute miles, but four…. NEVER

Participating in these types of events is a way for me to give back to yours truly, so I get excited with each event that I register.  The Broad Street Run is one of my favorites.  30,000 runners  are expected this year.   Along the course, supporters dance, sing, cheer, play music and do all kinds of fun and crazy things to keep runners motivated.  There aren’t many places that I can go and complete strangers cheer me on. The end of the run is fun too.  Food, beverages, and other activities away runners at the finish line.

Runners vary in age, ethnicity, religion, physical abilities, economic status, and languages, yet we share a common goal.  Finish the run.   The average runner competes against their own time.  For the most part, as long as I improve my time and I finish the run, I’m happy.

So until May, I am going to continue to nurture my foot, increase my mileage, strengthen my hamstrings and quadriceps and lastly, find me some cool and colorful athletic attire to stand out among 30,000 runners.

Oh wow!  I just heard from a friend and fellow runner that she tried to register and the run is already closed!  That is crazy; it took less than eight hours to fill! That really stinks, but I’m hoping that the run organizers re-open registration; perhaps the website is temporary shut down.  That’s the optimist in me.

I’m wondering, what are you doing to stay  fit?  If you are not exercising at all, I urge you to try something.  Just walking  and eating healthier can start your fitness routine and improve your overall health. Go ahead, get movin!