How running has improved my life

July 14, 2020

So far in 2020 I’ve run 212 miles over 34 hours. Before Halloween I’m planning to get to 300 miles. I run for health benefits. They include:

1. Running reinforces a healthy schedule

I get to bed around 11 pm and wake up before 8 am. I run in the morning while the streets are mostly empty. Waking up is tough but feels great; by 9 am I feel ready to tackle the day from a run and a shower.

2. Running prompts healthy eating

Before I was a fan of large meals, even if I get bogged down after a meal. I used to have multiple heavy meals in a day; it could be 2 slices of pizza or 3 slices of bread smeared with Nutella. Now I eat lighter because I need to run on an empty stomach, so I snack on watermelon and drink plenty of water. Running while constipated feel like running with a brick; it is particularly bad form of torture.

3. Running makes me high

During a run I occasionally feel runner’s high; that feeling of gliding through clouds without a care in the world. Running is a time when I’m free of worries, just swinging my arms and pushing off of my feet. Even though I run early in the day, the energy boost lasts throughout the day, hence the 45 minutes to 1 hour of self-induced stress is worth it.

4. Achieving a running goal feels great!

Whenever I want to keep a habit I set a goal. My initial goal was to run 10km under 1 hour, which I did at the YMCA Chinatown 10k race. The icing on the cake was I also beat my 10km personal best, set when I was 16 years old and a few pounds lighter. Just today I beat my personal best for a 5km, clocking 8:58 miles per hour. Next, I want to run a half marathon under 2 hours; I might have to do this alone or run a virtual race given the epidemic. I also want to increase my mileage this year to 300 miles. Assuming the epidemic does not get much worse, if I run every other day I’ll be able to accomplish the mileage goal by Halloween of 2020.

I highly encourage running. It is a great way to stay sane and fit during the epidemic.