In the course of my running so far, I’ve found a few fringe benefits to this whole “give up your social life and run alot…and then run some more” plan. Significant moments and pieces that have made up for the rest, and that keep me going.
1 – Sleep. Glorious, glorious sleep. If you’re a new parent or an insomniac, this will make you crazy. But I get the most wonderful, glorious nights of sleep. As a former insomniac (often 1, 2 hours a night), I can not express the value that comes from a solid night of snoozing. I often made excuses like “I’m an insomniac…that’s why I don’t sleep” which was why I didn’t sleep. Looking back, I should have said “I make poor life choices, I eat unbalanced food, I consume more vodka/wine/caffeine than one really should, and I’m not challenged in life which is deeply troubling for me…that’s why I don’t sleep.” The difference is measurable and significant. Sleep cures most things.
2 – Calorie consumption. Not just eating, but the best kind of ravishing hunger that comes from earning everything on your plate. I assumed when I got to this point, burning 4,000 calories on a Sunday I would go immediately for junk food. The opposite has proven to be true and I find myself craving bok choy, salmon, and rice. (WTF). It’s nice to wolf down a plate of *put your favourite food here* and not care too much about how bloated you’ll be the next day. And on those special nights that someone decides to buy me a Lindt Cherry Chocolate bar (and hopefully share…I have no off button) I don’t have immediate eaters regret. Earned food. It’s the best tasting thing you’ll ever eat.
In a search for the Spanglish sandwich (which I dream about more than I’d like to admit) I found this:
3 – Mental clarity. This is going to sound new-agey and annoying, but I swear. It’s true. I am calmer, more focused (hence me finally starting a blog), and more driven. Whether it’s organizing a closet, cleaning a kitchen floor, or writing a blog post – it comes with greater ease and I’m not sure why. The only possible explanation is that the running can be excruciatingly painful to get through so everything I do outside of that seems just a bit more simple.
4- Energy. This one is a double edged sword. Remember all that sleep I’m getting? Well, if I don’t get it…it’s a different kind of tired. Not fatigued-I-need-a-coffee-the-size-of-my-head tired…it’s more like I-am-going-to-fall-asleep-standing-up-and-my-legs-feel-like-cement. Even when I’m exhausted my energy levels are up. I require less coffee to function. I feel energized at the end of a workday instead of lazy. I have motivation to keep myself busy and, shockingly, I crave the running.
There’s certainly more of these to come. I’ll keep adding as we go!