Distance Running Therapy: Beating Stress on the Pavement

Run in the Country
Photo Credit: Race Photographer Michael Lebowitz Coburg, OR 7/19/15

I’m dedicating this post to the Run in the Country Half Marathon I did yesterday in Coburg, Oregon.

Disclaimer:  I like to think I am a positive blogger but I’m just keeping it real with this one. Sometimes life throws some gnarly stuff your way; it can’t always be roses and daffodils. Recently I have had some added stress and am using running as a healthy outlet and coping strategy.

I’m signed up for the Portland Marathon on October 4th (it will be second full marathon) and as per usual, I am behind with the training schedule lol.

I knew I had to do something. I opened up the laptop and searched for upcoming nearby races and found the Run in the Country Half, and it was only like $40 which is pretty affordable in comparison to a lot of other races. This was the first race I have ever signed up for on a whim and completely last minute. I registered Friday for the race on Sunday. I glanced at the training plan I jotted down in my planner for the Portland Marathon and my long run for the week was suppose to be 14 miles anyways (hahaha), so this was actually shorter. It’s a good thing I registered because it gave me the external motivation I needed when I wasn’t feeling the internal motivation to go on a long run.

The run itself was fine. there were definitely many moments throughout the miles that I reminded myself why I signed up. I tried to bring it all out on the pavement. Tried to run through the emotional pain and past it. I thought about the many other times long runs got me through hard times.

The truth is, I wouldn’t be a runner if I didn’t have difficulties to work through. Running has always been the best therapy for me. It’s not just the act of running that is therapeutic. It’s being out in nature and fresh air. It’s listening to inspiring music or enthralling audiobooks or captivating podcasts. It’s the immediate and constant display to myself that I have willpower and strength and can be tough. My favorite part of a run is when everything comes together and I can be completely present and connected with my surroundings and my body.

I know running helps me emotionally. And the endorphins that flood your brain after those distances certainly did me a world of good!  But it’s the type of thing I’ll need to do again and again. I still have so much work to do. (Lucky for me?) I have plenty of long runs ahead.

Anyways, my legs are tight but not sore. The sorest parts of me are actually my back and my neck/shoulder region, which is sort of strange haha. Once those flare ups die down my plan is to get back out on the roads :).

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