I hope you’re able to make time for the outdoors this weekend. If you’re fortunate enough to live near the mountains, I highly suggest a hike as the perfect way to wind down after a long week, free your mind, and boost your creativity, all while getting a nice workout in.
I love the mountain metaphor, and I truly do feel transformed after reaching a tall peak. Little feels better than taking in fresh mountain air and looking down and across at what you’ve just climbed and traversed with success, especially if you’ve ended the week feeling a little burnt out.
Plus, with minimal cell reception and nothing else to do but hike, you’re forced to reflect on the challenges and blessings in your life and engage deeply with the people you’re hiking with.
Whenever I have a long run planned for a Saturday morning, I find myself dragging out my morning routine as long as possible, like a kid stalling to go to bed at night. It’s not uncommon to take slower sips of coffee, reluctantly switch out my PJs for a running tee hours later than I had planned, and suddenly realize that my sock drawer totally needs to be reorganized before the world can keep spinning, let alone before my morning run can commence. As much as I love running, the struggle to sometimes start a run is REAL.
However, once Michel pushes me out the door and I start putting one foot in front of the other, running, once again, becomes fun. It seriously just takes a few steps, a few slow strides, before I realize how good running makes me feel and how fortunate I am to have good health, as well as the time and means to cultivate it.
Whether I’m reflecting on my day, coming up with new ideas, or simply not thinking about anything and getting lost in my own thoughtless void, running makes me happy. And no matter what the distance, I finish up brimming with endorphins and feeling proud of myself for just getting outside and moving my body.
Just like in life, getting out the door and taking the first step is the most challenging. My goal for this weekend’s long run is to be conscious of that, channel the happiness I feel while running, and just put one foot in front of the other.
Do you have running goals for this weekend or upcoming week? What motivates you to start your run?
Even when you don’t have a full-time job, a 3-day weekend is a gift from God.
For Labor Day, Michel and I took a road trip up to Oregon to visit my mom and spend some time in Portland. I was supposed to run 14 miles on Saturday (my longest run ever), but somehow that just didn’t fit in with beer and coffee drinking, burger eating, and family time. Oops…
I did, however, buy two new pairs of running shoes (hello, sales tax-free Oregon!) and Haruki Murakami’s memoir on writing and running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
I seriously needed new shoes, and now is the perfect time to break them in before next month’s half marathon. Plus, I had to get two pairs, because my mom taught me to never turn down a BOGO shoe sale.
Besides shopping for shoes and books, my mini-getaway was amazing, naturally. I spent time with my mom and family dog, Angus, explored Portland with Michel, and enjoyed so many delicious calories.
Oh yeah, and Michel got to hold puppies and this teensy kitten.
Taking days off is sometimes necessary not just for physical health, but for mental and emotion health. Stepping away from my routine to spend time with loved ones in a new setting reinvigorated my spirit and allowed me to recharge for this month. I feel rejuvenated now that we’re back and ready to tackle this week’s work and running plan, as well as my monthly and long-term goals.