Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sense of Control

Tracking:  Every bite
Points eaten:  21 / 21
Activity Points Earned:  0
Hunger level:  average / appropriate
Morning Weigh-ins:  down 1.0
Yesterday Tricia @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical  made a post about the reasons why she runs.  She made this statement which really hit home with me:

Running gives me a sense of control, when everything else in my life is up in the air.

For the last few years, parts of my life have been spinning wildly out of control with only so much I can do. So, I do what I can to try to control it, and then I run.

The other day I was talking to a woman about running, weight loss, etc.  She does mostly weight training (former fitness competitor) and she was asking me how often I lift weights - which if you're a regular reader you'll know it's not nearly as often as I should/wish.  When it really comes down to it, if I only have a small window to exercise in, I would really rather run.

She said she understood and mentioned that I must get a runner's high "...a term used for that euphoric state which is experienced by many runners during a prolonged run".  For me though, I don't think of it as a runner's high.  Running for me is a time where:
  • I can unplug
  • I don't have to think about anything, or ...
  • I can think if I want to
  • I can escape the realities of the world
  • I can have control over at least one area of my life
  • I can de-stress
  • I can do something that is completely free and does not have hours of operation
  • I can solve the world's problems, or maybe one of my own
  • I can be proud of what I accomplish
This is why I love to run without music.  There is enough distraction in the world everywhere we go.  Running is a place for me where I can be without any distraction and most importantly where I can turn off all thoughts and just go.  I love many forms of exercise, but most everything else requires thinking for me or possibly a committment I can't make, which running doesn't.  Running is simple, straightforward and there's very little stopping me from going when I want to.  Tricia really nailed it when she said running gives her a sense of control.  I feel the same!

What gives you a sense of control?

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Suzy said...

Heidi - wonderful post!

Nej said...

Working out and eating better.....those are two things that only I can control. Two things I can control nearly 100%. If I gain weight, if I miss runs....I only have myself to blame. It's very free'ing and very humbling, all at the same time! :-)

I've been asked what I think about when I run, since I run without music. I honestly don't know. I focus on my breathing, and just let my brain go on auto-pilot. It's pretty nice!!!! :-)

misszippy said...

Yes! I am a non-music runner also...I love being able to tune into my body, my surroundings, etc. I feel like I get so much more out of it.

99ToGo said...

Well isn't that the truth? I think tracking my food and hitting my target budget gives me a sense of control. As does working out (whatever that entails for the day).

I haven't even tried running without music...too afraid of my own gasping, I think ;)

Marcelle said...

You so right about what you say...and so many other runners.
I hated running now love it...cant wait to get out there and run.
I can be tired but never too tired to its not about time or pace for me, its being out, I dont want to go to the gym and run on that treadmill during winter, remember I learned to run on the treadmill so loved it last winter, but since summer time and running outdoors I am dreading it...
I love running...for me with MS and somethings I feel my balance is off, running makes me feel like I'm normal, like there nothing wrong with me cause I can run...x

Fran said...

Great post Heidi!

I think running gives me a sense of control too. But I do run with music however I sometimes can't even remember which songs I've heard because I thought of so many things and sometimes I don't want to think and just listen to the music. Music helped me more than one time to finish that last mile when I was tired.

When I run I get the best ideas how to do things different or what I want to do.

These days I run at 5.30 am in the morning, sun isn't up yet, still dark en during my run the sun comes out and it's beautiful. Besides that most of the times I don't see a single person. Makes me feel like I'm alone in this hectic crazy world and that feels great.

Lucy K said...

Heidi one of my personal goals is to be able to get to the point were I can run without music. I can't right now because all I hear is huffing and puffing. I will get there though.
Great post btw!