Making the transition from town dweller to farm wife had its rough spots. Some of my routines had to change to accommodate my new address, schedule and household duties. But one habit that hasn’t gone to the wayside is my morning running routine.
As we celebrate National Running Day today, June 6, I look back on the habit that has helped keep me healthy and sane. (Read more about National Running Day at www.runningday.org)
I’ve been running since I was in seventh grade. I still don’t know what inspired me to lace up my tennis shoes and hit the road, but it’s a habit that has stuck with me, and thankfully so. Running helps me burn calories so I can enjoy a sweet treat every now and then, it gives me time to organize my thoughts and ponder life’s big mysteries and it helps me burn off stress from work, life and everything in between.
Now that I reside in the country, my runs are a little less hectic and a little more scenic. I am accompanied by our dogs, Kate and Roxy, and have the pleasure of watching the sun rise, crops grow and cattle graze.
Some morning my runs take on a second duty. During the summer months, I can help my husband by checking on a pivot sprinkler or, as in this morning, put cows back in the pasture that have somehow escaped onto the road.
The dogs enjoy the chance to run free and I cherish the time to I get for myself, my thoughts and nature.
About a year ago, I merged my love of running with my passion for agriculture by joining Team Beef, sponsored by the Kansas Beef Council. I have a fantastic jersey that I can wear when racing that promotes beef as a great source of energy and protein. I may not always be the fastest – but I will always have one of the best-looking running jerseys. (Read more about Team Beef and the Kansas Beef Council on the Beef Chat Blog at http://www.kansasbeefchat.com/)
I truly cherish my morning runs and while they do require an early waking time, I am fortunate I have been able to maintain my healthy habit and find ways to merge my old and new lives.
If you’ve contemplated taking up running, here are my top three reasons for hitting the road each day:
(1) Thinking Time – Runs are the perfect opportunity to clear your head and think through problems, work projects and upcoming plans. With no one to interrupt you, it’s a great time to let your thoughts flow free.
(2) Calorie Burn – I have never been a good dieter. I have friends that can stay away from cookies, ice cream and French fries with no problem at all. No me, I crave sugar and anything fried and telling myself I can’t have them only makes me want them more. To counter my love of all things bad for me, I make sure I hit the road 5-6 times a week. Running burs, on average, about 125 calories a mile. It is one of the most efficient calorie-burning exercises.
(3) Sight Seeing – No matter where you run, you can also experience new sights and sounds. Whether you pound the pavement of a large city or hit the dirt roads, like me, there is always something new to see, hear and smell. I love watching the sun come up during my runs.