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Just Run With It

I would like to tell you about a specific hobby that is currently high on my priority list these days and it is running. I have been running since high school and really enjoy it (well, for the most part), so I try to incorporate it into daily life as much as possible. For about four years now I have wanted to complete a half marathon. I began training for one around Christmas of 2010, but I hurt my knees, so needless to say I was unable to complete the training. My knees took a while to heal, but now that they are pretty much back to normal I am going to try again. I have officially signed up and paid (this is always motivational) for the Covenant Health Knoxville Half Marathon on April 7th. It is to fight childhood obesity, which is an amazing cause and great passion of mine. I am very excited to participate in such a rewarding event, as well as accomplish this goal I have set for myself.

People often ask me why I like to run. Well, there are many reasons I like to run, but I will share three of them with you.

1. Relieves stress

Life, especially life right now, can bring with it a great deal of anxiety and stress and I think it is very important to have a way to relieve it. The way I relieve stress in exercise. It has not always been running, but at this point in life it is. As I run it clears my head. I listen to my iPod or sometimes just the sound of my feet hitting the pavement and I don’t have to think about the outside world during that period of time. I get to think about whatever I want and it is usually nothing. It is usually me just listening or encouraging myself to keep going or run harder. There is no school work or conflict happening in my mind, just solitude. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America have done multiple studies on the effects of exercise on the brain and the results always point to its benefits.

2. It is good for my body

I am a firm believer in taking care of your body and mind, and we must exercise to keep ourselves healthy. The American Heart Association, along with thousands of other sources, has study after study on the health benefits of exercising. It reduces blood pressure, heart disease, cholesterol, sedentary heart rate, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and the list goes on and on. It’s amazing too because I can tell a difference in the way I feel when I exercise verses when I don’t, which is why I do. I feel cleansed and strong. My body seems as though it can withstand a lot more because I have helped strengthen it.

3. Challenging

My mind is very goal-oriented, so if I have a goal I am very likely to achieve it. With running I set goals for myself. For example, below is my training plan for my upcoming half marathon:

Half Marathon Training

I realize this looks a little intense, but I have a certain time I want to finish the race in, so I have to not only train myself to run a long distance, but to also do it at a quick pace. This challenge excites me. I love to watch my progression and push myself to get better. Three weeks ago it was challenging to run three miles and today I ran 7 at an 8 min/mile pace. I know it probably sounds crazy, but the challenge makes it rewarding and brings with it self-pride.

Those are three of the top reasons I choose to run, along with the fact that I love the shoes that go along with it. Check out my new kicks:

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Now you can’t tell me these don’t make you want to take a jog around the block. So as I sport these beautiful shoes, I am relieving stress, benefiting my body, and challenging my mind. Running is an all inclusive sport and I highly recommend it! I’ll keep everyone updated on my half marathon so you can know if I really do achieve my goal and finish the race. Can’t wait!

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