Yesterday was not a fun day.
Work was piling up. My family has been sick. It seemed all the world wanted something from me.
I love my work, but somedays are frustrating. I thought of running after I got home, even though it was my off day. Then my son was sick, so I took him to the doctor and didn’t get home until 4:00. By then I was not in a good mood, even tough my lovely wife tried to cheer me up.
So I ran. It was only 3 miles since it was my off day, but I ran an 8:09 pace which is good for me.
I wrote a post a while back about a bumper sticker that I saw that said, “Running is cheaper than therapy”. Really, to be totally honest, running has become therapy to me. Yes, I want to run races and to do well in them. Yes, I want to run a marathon as my dad did in his 70’s. But I realize that running helps me deal with life. It helps me at work to be more efficient and productive. It helps me at home to be less frustrated at normal circumstances. It just helps.
Here is an article that says that running increases dopamine.
Health newstand says this about dopamine:
Dopamine is widespread in the brain as well as the rest of the nervous system. This neurotransmitter plays a critical role in the control of movement. It has a stimulating effect on the heart, the circulation, the rate of metabolism, and is able to mobilize many of the body’s energy reserves. It helps to modulate brain activity, control coordination and movement, and regulate the flow of information to different areas of the brain. Dopamine is believed to release chemicals that allow us to feel pleasure (e.g., endorphins).
I’m not sure why I went in this direction with this post. I guess I realize that my days are better when I run. Is it chemical (dopamine, endorphins) or just the fact I am finally getting in shape and feel better about myself? I don’t know.
This is what I do know…
I love running.
I need to get that sticker! For me, running is a way to think about nothing at all, if I want, or work through a problem I’m having. I definitely have ADHD, and I find it pretty hard to focus on any one thing for long, but with endurance training I can clear my head and focus on the little things I’m doing: scenery, my cadence, my form, temperature, etc. Great post!
Thanks. I agree. I work in IT and have gadgets and computers in my face all day long. Actually I really enjoy IT, but the nice thing about running is that I am free from it all. Like going back to my childhood running with friends through the neighborhood – at least for an hour or so. I need to get my endurance up so that I can get away longer