Running. It gets you in shape, but at what cost? As a swimmer in high school, the LAST thing I wanted to do was actually run. In college, I don’t have as much time to go through the process of getting ready to swim, and running is a more convenient form of cardio to get in a quick workout. I read this article about the benefits of running and was convinced: I need to get into running! It relieves stress (a good idea for every college student), lowers the risk of heart disease, and can even reduce the risk of breakouts! So I gave myself a challenge- run (at least) one mile every day of October.
The goal of this monthlong challenge is to learn how to run efficiently and enjoy the sport, so after this month, I will have a new workout that I look forward to doing! With slight knee issues already, I’m dreading the actual beginning of this challenge. I predict that it will get easier as I build endurance, and my body gets used to the work. Maybe by the end of the month, I’ll be running three miles a day — who knows? I also hope to involve others and get to know new people through my running endeavor.
Journal Day 1:
Day one! Today I set my alarm early to run, but woke up completely unmotivated and ended up putting off the run for a couple of hours. Eventually, I hauled my butt out the door and started running (okay, more like slow jogging). I kept going for a mile and a half, and by the end, my feet were barely separating, and I was practically trudging along, but I was still technically running! I guess it was a good start because it’s only up from here, right? Let’s hope!
Journal Day 10:
I’m kind of surprised that I made it ten days! Today I ran a mile and a half and was super tired because I ran a full two miles yesterday (the longest I’ve ever run!), and my knees and ankles were really feeling it. I need to invest in better shoes, or maybe simply learn how to run correctly! I’m proud of myself so far and have found places around campus that are better to run than others. I also have some pretty late night runs, which my friends do not approve of, but I know that if I skip one day, I’ll find excuses to skip others!
Journal Day 20:
By now, I’d kind of expected to love running and be a full-fledged marathoner. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened. I bought better shoes and earbuds that don’t fall out of my ears, but the better supplies still don’t make me love the sport. I have a higher appreciation for running, but I’m not sure I’d jump at the opportunity to run a 5k every weekend! I think having no days of rest is taking a toll on me because although I can run longer distances now, my body wants to give up quickly because it’s been running every day. In the future, I’d be open to running, just with rest days in between.
Unfortunately, I got a mild concussion on the 21st day, and my doctor said I wasn’t allowed to run because my slightly bruised brain would jostle around in not-fantastic ways. Even though I wasn’t able to complete this challenge, I still have some reflections on the whole experience. During my time running every day, I learned a lot about the campus. As a freshman, I basically only knew the ways to my classes, the food places, and the Rec Center. As I ran, I explored new parts of campus and found interesting places that I could study or visit to relax. I learned each building name as I ran past and the best paths from my dorm to each.
It also gave me an appreciation for the sport of running and encouraged me to set aside time every day where I could think, relax, and be present within myself instead of always moving forward with homework or the vast number of emails in my inbox. For these reasons (and the amount of money I spent on running shoes), I’ll continue to run in the future, but NOT every day. I’ll throw it into my gym routine or go for a quick run when I need to take a break from studying. For future reference, this experience taught me that my body needs breaks from running every day (the concussion gave me that hint), and I learned that even though I thought I liked working out in the morning, running in the mornings is not for me! I very much prefer a run in the evening, especially during the sunset. Overall, I enjoyed the 20 days that I ran, but I would not repeat the experience exactly. I’d change up the workout, and take plenty of recuperation days!
(Photo courtesy of unplash.com)