|My favourite route along Albert Embankment|
I have been asked before why I like to run so much and it's actually pretty simple. Let me break it down for you.
1. The Quiet Waking up at stupid o'clock in the morning, lacing up my trainers and heading out before anyone else is even thinking of stirring is such a peaceful feeling. Although I live and run in London where you're hard-pressed to find any kind of solitude, it is surprisingly quiet running along the South Bank at dawn. Quiet and so very beautiful.
2. Anger Management Running is an excellent way to release any pent-up frustration. I tend to do short fast runs when I'm particularly worked up as I find channelling my energy into speed is a really good way to let go of any unwanted thoughts. You can't really focus on anger when you're busy trying to run your fastest mile. Starting arguments with people in my head is also an excellent way to get up a big hill.
3. The Buzz This is probably the most obvious reason for loving running: it makes you feel so darn good. If I do a really good run - hell, even if I do a really bad run - I feel like I can take on the day.
4. Strength I run to prove to myself that I can. I run to improve to remind myself that I can do things, that I can achieve something if I put my mind to it. There is also an element of needing to prove to others that I can which probably isn't healthy. But for the most part I run to know that I can, and knowing that I can makes me stronger, more confident and a lot happier. This is the main reason I run.
5. Thinking Time Running is pretty conducive to thinking. I think about all sorts when I'm out. Sometimes really mundane things like what I'll cook for dinner, but other times I'll think about the big stuff, like what my life goals are. Goal setting whilst running is a good way to allow yourself to aim high - if you're on mile seven and still feeling strong then your motivation levels are probably taking quite the boost. There are days though when I don't want to think about anything except my legs, my lungs and the way my feet feel as they hit the floor. And that's alright too.
Running for me is more mental than physical. The physical aspects are huge and can't be ignored (hello, thunder thighs), but what I take from running and the many positive results are all mental. I run to feel good, to feel strong, to feel confident and, most of all, to have faith in myself.