A runner’s high for when you are feeling low

Me, running through snowy woods.

In summer I found my lost love for running again. 10 Years ago I was a passionate runner but with the years I lost the love for it. It got boring and exhausting instead of energizing. In the past years I tried it every now and then, but it wasn’t the same anymore. Even with support (and drill 😉 of my man it was boring and every time a bit of a strain.

Trail running as a kick starter

This year we started running on trails and uphill and with that running was fun again and it became varied. Trail running is never the same. You see new things on every single run and exercising in the nature is the best. There is fresh air,different paths, wildlife – every time a little adventure. And there is the exercising part: you really have to work to make it up a steep hill. I still can’t make it to be honest. At least not the really steep ones. I need much more training for this and I made it my goal which I want to achieve in about six months from now.

Training in winter

For a training we started with regular runs of two times a week. These runs are more of a jog because we need to establish our aerobic base fitness. Which is a great thing for me because finally I can talk while running and am not stressed because I have to chase after my man who naturally is a tick faster than me. Today our runs are smoother and in a way relaxing. I’m also doing intervals in order to become able to sustain higher pulse rates which I need for achieving my goal of running uphill in summer. The thing I appreciate the most these days is that I’m finally able to enjoy running again and that I get in the flow.

In the flow for coping with feeling low

I started running about 15 years ago because I needed the runner’s high for coping with problems I had in the past. Not huge things, but enough to end up with mild depression. Running helped. I liked the kind of therapy I held with myself during those runs. I was thinking about all the things I struggled with and came up with a solution or at least with a feeling that a weight has been lifted off my chest. It worked for me while I lived alone for the first time in my life, when I was lovesick, it helped during the divorce of my parents and in the times in between.

Running as grief therapy

At that time when I ran three to four times a week I often went with my Grandfather. He accompanied me on his bike and we spent a lot of time together. It is a week now that he has passed away. I still can’t believe that he is gone. Forever. My brain – and more so my heart – can’t deal with it. So I go for a run. Even more these days. Because I need therapy with myself again to proceed.  More so, I feel the need to remember him. Because I am suppressing that he is dead. I am in absolute denial. Every single time the thought is about to hit me, I think about something else. While running, thinking of him and our time together is easier. Thanks to the runner’s high. The flow.

Running can’t make things disappear and you can’t run away from reality. But running helps coping – with daily business as well as with the hardest of times. It helps with widening your perspective and developing another point of view at your problems. I know that I can’t ignore the death of my beloved Grandfather, but running helps me to deal with it and it makes my coping with bereavement a little bit easier.

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