This is a running blog and so when I am sick and unable to run it makes it difficult to write and update the blog. This week flu-like aches and pains as well as a gnarly cough have taken over my body. One of the best things a runner can do is listen to his or her body. Knowing when to rest and when to crank out the miles is very important in staying injury free and free from burnout. I have run over a hundred miles a month every month for three years, but I have also never kept a streak nor have I been crazy about logging a certain amount of miles regardless of how my body feels. Your body knows when it needs to rest…we just need to listen.
Since I picked up running there are a few non running habits I have picked up that have also changed my life. Some are health related, but some have little to do with health. I will share five here that have changed my life. I have no idea if these are good changes or not but they are all noteworthy.
1. Five a.m. Is now my normal wake up time six days of the week. I actually “sleep in” on Sundays until seven. Before I began running I would normally sleep until 6:30 in the morning. Now even on days when I am not running I am up early tackling the day. This could mean taking care of work business, going to the gym, and even occasionally even cleaning up the house. I couldn’t imagine sleeping in until nine or ten. Ever.
2. Weather. I check the weather constantly now and the weather apps on my phone are my best friends. I addition to knowing what the weather will be I am also better able to guess the weather when outside and know what to wear and not to wear. Surprisingly, because I am outside more often I believe my body has become better able to handle extreme cold and hot weather…. Either that or I don’t care as much anymore.
3. Distance. Having run the majority of the roads in my town and the towns around my town has made me more aware of distances. Actually it gets a little scary. When asked by a lady how far a doctors’ office was I told her “about 6.5 miles… Maybe 6.7” – I think that was a little too specific. I also have a better understanding of how to get from one place to another in town… An almost internal GPS. It is fun, unless someone else is driving and going all over the place when you know the back roads and the shortcuts.
4. Elevators. I never take them anymore. I take the stairs. I now work in a few larger cities (Annapolis and Wilmington) and have a lot of offices in large building with elevators. I avoid them, always. Next time you are in a building with elevators take the stairs…. Going up and down four a five stories a day can be a nice little cross training during the day.
5. Water. I hardly ever drank just water three or four years ago. Everything I drank was soda. Now I hydrate with water the entire day. Soda has been pretty much been faded out of my life (not all together since I like a nice cold coke with a football game) and my go to drink is water. This is huge, especially when in a restaurant when waiting for a meal. Just think of how much soda you drink in the twenty or thirty minutes you are waiting for your meal. I keep water in my car and it keeps me from drinking and eating too many calories.