I have been slacking off here with my posts. Things have been a little busy for the Cash family. We just got back from a short trip to Clearwater Beach, Fl. It was so great to see the sun! And also great to come back home to sunshine and warm weather. It was a pretty quick trip, but I did get to take a run over the causeway, which I have always wanted to do. I usually end up running along the coast instead (which I love!), but I always regret not running over the causeway. It was distracting scenery that slowed me down, but I really didn't care. How often do I get to run across the bay?! I loved every mile of it! I can't wait to do it again!
It is getting into the time of year that makes running way more fun. I love all kinds of exercise, but running is my favorite. I don't really care for being cooped up inside a gym, and I believe that you should take your workouts outside any chance you get. Everyone can benefit from fresh air and vitamin D.
It is so easy to use weather as an excuse to stay indoors, but I can run in just about any conditions. And I never regret it. But there does come a time, around late winter, that I start getting fed up with the cold, dreary, windy, nastiness out there, and I start to slack off. I am always anxious for the heat of summer to return.
If you are new to outdoor exercise, it is important to pay attention to how your body responds to the heat. Anytime you start to feel dizzy, chilled, have muscle cramps, fatigue, or any other signs of heat exhaustion, it's time to stop. Getting acclimated can take some time. Especially when you are used to being indoors most of the time. It is a good idea to start now, before the heat really sets in. Getting out there in the mornings can help get you acclimated as well. You should never do too much too fast. If you have a bad experience right off the bat, you won't want to get back out there. Work your way up to it. It is the safest way.
I often have people tell me that they wish they could run. And while some people truly can't, you can't say you can't until you try. In the beginning, it will hurt. Your lungs will feel like someone is standing on them, your shins will burn like fire, your feet will blister, your knees will ache, you may have some sciatica, there can be a long list of discomforts. You may even suffer an injury. The thing is, every runner went through all of those same things. And we still do to some extent. Good shoes, stretching, and proper hydration are all keys to keeping these issues under control. Learning how to nurse them, and learning to listen to your body are also key. When I first started running, I had shin splints for 6 months. It is unlikely that you will get away with no aches and pains. You just have to decide if you want to try to move past them or not. Starting and stopping a running program will not move you past this phase any faster. Unless you truly have an injury that needs rested, you have to just work through the discomfort. In some cases, you may never overcome the beginners pains. Some people just aren't able to get past it. But you can't know unless you try. And you can't give up just because you have normal running complications. You have to toughen up and work through it. It is possible, and it is fun! Once you have learned your body, and learned how much you can handle, it becomes a part of you.
I want to encourage you today to slowly start accomplishing your goal. Decide to work through the pains and discomforts. Decide not the let the speed bumps stop you, rather than just slow you down. Decide to keep going and learn to listen to your body. It is true that running is hard on your joints, but so is obesity. It is true that running is a high impact sport, but the cardiovascular benefits can barley be beat. It is true that running can cause injury, but so can a sedentary lifestyle. People tell themselves what they want to hear to make themselves feel better about not doing what they should. It is just how we operate for some reason. You have to decide to stop filling your head with excuses and negativity, and decide to go after that goal. If it were easy, everyone would do it!
Running is a very inexpensive way to get healthy and fit. You don't need a gym membership. You don't need a treadmill. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some road. It is a great way to keep your exercise going even through an out of town trip. And I love being able to explore new places on foot while I run. It is also a great way to escape and just mentally check out for a time. If you need solidarity, go run! If you need to feel close to God and spend uninterrupted time in prayer, go run! Get out there today and start going after what you want. If running is something you "wish" you could do, then go do it.
I am always here for motivation, accountability, to answer questions, or just to give you support and encouragement to keep going. All you have to do is shoot me an email and I will help you however I can. I believe in you. If the voice in your head is tempting and urging you get up and do this, listen to it and don't wait another day. My email is email@example.com.