The Run Happy Formula

November 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

With my yogic river guide out of town (no Saturday yoga for me), I took the opportunity to hit the open road after a month of being sidelined by too much stress and a nagging quadracept injury. Luckily for me, the formula for a happy run was in place.

Here are the components, for which (even hours later) I find myself grateful:

1. Running in the cold (this morning’s thermometer hovered around 37 degrees) allows the lungs to fill with crisp fresh air. To say I felt more alive than I have since March isn’t dramatics. It’s the truth.

2. The right gear is essential for cold-weather running, because freezing is never any fun. I left the house wearing my thick, lined running pants, a long-sleeve shirt and jacket, and a headband to cover and protect my ears from the wind.

3. Going slowly, though not walking, there is no hurry and no pressure. As I amp up the winter running, I’m sure I’ll hop back over to the Galloway method, but my favorite way to run is at an easy pace, for as long as I like. Today’s four miles felt right; authentic, focused, strong.

3. Wearing ear pods is controversial. Galloway doesn’t allow it. People say it is dangerous. But the beauty of having music in your ears is that you not only hear, but feel. Choosing the iPod shuffle-option is like an extra step toward total surrender. The last song as I rounded home was James Blunt’s, Best Laid Plans. The man is a poet, and his words made my heart grow wider.

4. A familiar loop doesn’t hurt when you’re busy following your nose. There’s no chance in getting lost and you’re close enough to home if you need to call it quits (earlier than anticipated).

5. A good run always prompts thoughts of the next race. Maybe it’s the endorphins at work, but I’m thinking that the timing is right to train for March’s Tobacco Road Marathon (or at least the half).

A happy run is the foundation for my happy life.

What’s your formula for a happy run?

M.

P.S. I questioned whether to publish this ‘happy post” as it’s a disappointing time for many running friends unable to race New York; monumentally more difficult for the people trying to recover from Sandy’s destruction. New York and it’s people have lived in my heart since I left almost twelve years ago. I wish I was closer to physically help …

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§ 6 Responses to The Run Happy Formula

  • Right on, write on, and run! This is great. And just sending your loving kind thoughts to Hurricane victims–and all those suffering in poverty, illness–that’s helping. 🙂

    • Martha Merrill Wills says:

      Thanks Lisa! I didn’t realize how awful the storm really was. I wouldn’t have been able to post that piece without a note to the people up North. x

  • scpardieck13 says:

    I do NOT get the no music thing. I mean I do get it, but I don’t like it at all. Honestly, when I have no music, I listen to my breathing (which the running gods say is a good thing) but I start fixating on breathing in a certain rhythm and it totally screws me up. If I can get lost in music, every other part of my run is just natural. So, jam on sista!

    • Martha Merrill Wills says:

      Those running gods! I have tried to run with just my breath and the thoughts in my head, but I find myself unable to let go … I like listening to books too! Did marathon training with the Hunger Games series … really powered me though.

      Thanks for the comment!!!

      • shelley says:

        Haha Martha, I listened to the last Hunger Games book while climbing the stairclimber to nowhere at the gym! Well, over the course of a couple of weeks, not all at once. It is all about distraction from boredom for me, and the thoughts in my own head are usually boring. If I could wear the ibuds in Yoga class I probably would.

  • My favorite run is my own pace. Whatever I am feeling and taking in all the beautiful weather has to offer. So glad my marathon training is over! Good running gear is a must!!!

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