Is running an addiction?

23 Jul

Monday workout:  2 hour bike ride, 1 hour yoga sculpt

I couldn’t stand the thought of working out inside, so this morning I biked over to my yoga studio, dropped my stuff off at my yoga studio and then spent the next 1 hour 45 minutes biking mostly along the lakefront.  The lakefront is nice on a weekday at 830, because you don’t have all those annoying large herds of marathon running groups to compete with that are always out on the path on the weekend….you can actually get up some speed and get a good workout in.  Because I was going for a workout and not just a leisure back ride, I made the gears on my bike harder than I normally bike with and pedaled faster than I normally do.  To keep the speed and intensity up, I would pick a biker in front of me and then tell myself I had to pass him.  hehe.  I was racing everyone on the path : ) It was a good workout AND it was fun.  There is just something very rewarding about passing up a guy on the lakefront and leaving him in your dust ; )  hehe.

And the yoga class…..wow, the class kicked my as$ today.  You may think 3 to 5 pound weights may not sound that bad, but when you are holding them and doing exercises with them for the majority of a yoga class, let me tell you, they’re not as light and innocent as they look.

Imagine doing a whole yoga class with weights? If you do the positions properly, it will kick your butt.

Source

Today’s workout felt good.   I have had very few inspiring, hard, workouts lately, so it definitely feels good to feel spent and sore in a good way, you know what I mean?  Running and exercise in general is a huge stress reliever for me.  A leisure workout, though, does not do it for me in terms of stress relief the same way an intense workout does.   There’s something about pushing your body so hard that your mind can’t think about anything but the present and what your body is doing.  Your mind is forced to let go of its grip on all other things stressing you out….

Maybe that’s where a lot of addictions stem from…an escape from reality… a place you can go where you don’t have to deal with things that cause you anxiety.  In that respect, I suppose running/exercising is no different than other addictions such as drugs or alcohol.  Except for one very huge point:  the high and anxiety mitigating effects of exercise don’t go away as soon as you stop.  It can last an entire day.  And it sharpens and clears your mind, gives you energy, and improves your health, which lasts years and potentially a lifetime.

40,000 runners take part in the Chicago Marathon each year. I took this photo last year before jumping in with Dean for the last ten miles.

A few running quotes (which can really apply to any form of exercise):

“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.” 
-Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile

“Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time.” 
-Michael Sargent 

“Remember the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.” 
-Sarah Condor

“Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it’s hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.” 
-Monte Davis

“What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.” 
-John Bingham, running writer and speaker

“Everyone who has run knows that its most important value is in removing tension and allowing a release from whatever other cares the day may bring.” 
-Jimmy Carter

 “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” 
-Edward Stanley

“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” 
–Arthur Blank

~

Ok, so as I said, most of my biking today was pretty intense, but I did stop a few times to catch some pics:

QUESTIONS:

If you can’t run, what else would you do?

Did you grow up running, or was it a later passion you found?

I grew up figure skating competitively, as many of you know.  I stopped skating after 18 years when I moved to Chicago for medical school in 2004, and that is when I picked up the running.  I can’t imagine not having some sort of physical outlet especially as a medical student or resident.  I need something to constantly strive for, and something I can set concrete goals for and achieve.  You can read more about my past involvement with skating here or here or about my switch to running and why I love it here.

Any good running or motivational quotes?

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2 Responses to “Is running an addiction?”

  1. Candice July 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    That yoga class looks AWESOME. I would love something like that. Kind of like yoga on steroids! I grew up swimming competitively and I swam in college. It was not until after college that I took up running and now I can say I officially caught the running bug! It has a lot of similarties to swimming and I think that is why I fell in love with it! I’m so happy I found your blog, I look forward to reading more!

  2. Losing Lindy July 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    I am signed up for the Fox Valley Half on Sept 16..want to hop in for the last 10 with me? I am injured and having issues with training so it would be VERY SLOw

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