Running Away… From Stress

I have a large family. Four brothers and a sister. Both of my parents passed away quite some time ago, and with everything we’ve been through, we (my four brothers, sister and I) have stayed very close. In fact, my sister is my very dearest friend and we talk on the phone two or three times a day. She lives in Virginia. I’m in New York, close to two of my brothers. My other brothers are in North Carolina and Florida.

One of my brothers was having a crisis last night/this morning and sent a text message that had the rest of us scrambling to reach him and reach each other at 5:30 am. When we finally did reach him, everything was fine, but the whole situation left me kind of stressed out. I live in a pretty constant state of stress anyway with things currently going on in my life; this pushed it to the edge.

By the time everything was cleared up it was 6:30, which is late for me to exercise in the morning. Still, I threw on my sneakers and went for a 2.5-mile run, and a pretty hard run (for me) at that. Running was not on my schedule for today, but I needed to escape for a few minutes and the running let me do that. I also knew by running this morning, I’d be able to better handle anything else that might crop up later. Lately, there always seems to be something. While running, I tried to picture all the stressy things slipping away from my body behind me and by the time I got home, I felt better.

In the past, I never would have gone the exercise route to push off stress. I probably would have eaten an entire Entenmann’s cake and then just felt sick to my stomach, ultimately adding to the stress. Not to mention eating Entenmann’s cakes probably had something to do with how I got here in the first place.

Running, by far, was the healthier choice. And surprisingly, not surprisingly, it really helped.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jeannie Porter on August 18, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Just curious. I am a power walker…or consider myself to be a power walker. I walk about 4 to 5 days a week…3 miles at a time (sometimes more) but on average 3 miles. How do I take walking to the next level of running? Any suggestions?


    • Hi Jeannie, Thanks for reading and I’m so glad I inspired you. I’m hoping for a half marathon next year! Check out Couch25K on the website. It’s an interval training program to go from sedentary to running 3 miles. I was walking 3 miles as well when I decided to switch to running. I did the interval training and slowly increased my running times until I could run the whole way. The program is for 10 weeks, but it took me much longer than that. You can probably walk faster than I run, but I really do enjoy the running. Congrats on your weight loss! That’s so phenonmenal! I’m working on the last 20 pounds too. They seem to be the most stubborn!


  2. Excellent post! You’re right, exercise empowers us.

    You are so fortunate to be so close to you family.


    • Thanks Hanlie. I do know how lucky I am with my family, even when they wake me at 5:30 am! Thanks for always reading and supporting my blog. I love hearing from you.


  3. Another great post! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am finding so much to relate to and be inspired by. I’m training for a half marathon and often feel like running is running my life, but then there are the days when I run from my life… to running. It’s amazing how putting one foot in front of the other can clear our minds and lift our spirits.

    Thanks for the food for thought!


  4. Posted by onelittlejill on August 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Running, I believe, has saved my life. From pain, from stress and at times from myself. I sometimes feel the best when it is just me and the road.

    I am glad your brother is okay 🙂


  5. Posted by Fran on August 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I’m glad your brother is okay. I only have 1 sister who’s younger than me and we don’t have a very good relationship. Doesn’t bother me much, we have little in common. I prefer my friends above my family.

    I always find that running clears my head. Although I’d rather run in the morning, running after work has it’s benefits too because it clears my head after a busy day.


  6. Good for you for sticking to your commitment; I probably would’ve headed straight for the coffee and skipped the run (until later in the day?). Glad to read that things turned out okay w/ your brother, too.

    btw – In defense of (totally unhealthy, but yummy) food, I suspect a BITE of Entenmann’s cake would have been okay! It’s our choices that define us, right??? Sounds like you made a wonderfully healthy choice. Good for you.

    Keep runnin’, friend…


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