R is for... Running

I run.

I run to relax, to keep fit, to control my weight (I've never been overweight, despite my levels of chocolate intake; I've always run...), to have thinking space. I run to feel alive.

One of the characters in the book I'm writing at the moment has the same outlook - running is his panacea. Had a bad day? Go for a run. Had a great day? Go for a run. Feel tired? Go for a run. Feel full of energy? Go for a run. If you love running, this makes total sense, but I do realise that if you don't run, this would seem bonkers!

I don't run races. I've done a half-marathon for charity and I want to do a marathon before I'm 50, but I don't run to compete, I run for me. I don't know if it's the rhythmicity of my feet hitting the ground or the endorphins getting released, but on a good run I can get into a meditative state and just eat up the miles. Runs like that are just bliss!

When I was at school I was a sprinter rather than a long-distance runner, but now my favourite run of the week is the long run. An hour to an hour and a half is probably just right, but some days it can be going so well that I don't want to stop when I reach home. Of course, there are some days when I can't wait for it to stop and it's been sheer hell for umpteen miles! Thankfully, I bliss out more often than not.

I always knew I enjoyed running, but this time last year, I was awaiting heart surgery and couldn't run at all. It drove home to me how much I need physical exercise in my life. The first question I asked my surgeon after my two-hour heart operation was, "How soon can I get back to running?"

I know that there will come a time when I won't be able to run, and I wonder what on earth I will do instead.
Until then, it's my panacea.

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