I run because…I need balance in my life.

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Some people will be wondering what is next after my 50k. After following (although somewhat loosely at times) a training plan since the last week in December, I’m sort of ready to run what I want when I want. I’ve got some recovery action that will take place this next week, followed by some inbetween marathon training that will let me be flexable while also keeping me in shape for my next races-the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon on July 4th in Portland, Oregon and the Missoula Marathon on July 13th in Montana. The plan will allow plenty of time to enjoy summer, the husband and whatever else I feel like doing.

Finding balance between being a runner and a person is so important for me.  I love my time alone on the roads and trails, but I also need the social fun of being with others.  Too much of one or the other leaves me unbalanced and feeling cranky.

All day I’m surrounded by people-from the adults I work with to the 130 students I see in a day to the athletes I coach. Running offers me time to hear my own thoughts in my head, to process what I feel, and to rejuvenate myself for the next day.
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On the flip side too much time alone on the road or the trails makes me sad and puts feelings of discontent in my heart. Being around my students, friends, family and the husband help to restore the fun in my life in a way running doesn’t always fulfill. After too much time alone I crave being around others.
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I find I am happiest and most content with running when I am happiest and most content outside of running. When my life is full (but not too full) running provides me with the greatest joy. When life is challenging and difficult running provides me with an outlet, but often it is not my best or favorite time to run.

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I like this image, but tend to think that life is more good than bad. The yin-yang would need to be a little uneven to represent how I view this balance.

Running encourages balance in life.  Running allows me to sort through all my responsiblities and still make time for myself.  Running helps me see that work is work and sometimes there is more to life than just your job.  Running also helps me to see how much I love my job and gets my creative juices flowing while my feet hit the pavement.  While out on runs I’m reminded of how great the people are in my life and all they do to support me.  This is especially important when people in my life are frustrating me.  Running simply gives me time to think about all I’m juggling in life.

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Balance in all parts of life is always important. I don’t believe for a second that I have this figured out, nor do most people (I think, I hope). Running miles helps me find more balance than if I were not a runner. This is just one more benefit and reason why I love this sport.

How do you find balance between running and the rest of your life?  Tips?  Suggestions?

S & S

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