Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. Not just on a physical level, but it also makes you “happier” due to the release of Endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemicals. Well, since I completed the C25K program I’ve started noticing there’s much more to it than simply being happier. Jogging seems to have some sort of meditative effect, a fact I alluded to in my post on the anatomy of one of my jogs. I noted that once I really get going I am able to spend a few seconds at a time in a trance like state with a completely clear mind. On top of that, towards the end of the jog all the aches and pains actually dissapear. Well here’s my theory as to why that is.
On my last run I was struggling somewhat and was getting frustrated by this. (It turns out I was actually coming down with a bit of a flu, but that’s by the by). Well before the 4km mark I was having conversations with my inner demons as to when I would “give up”. I was aiming for 7k in 40 minutes for that run and it was obvious I was not going to manage that. These conversations go something like this:
Me: Must keep going, must keep going
My inner demon: It is so much easier and less painful just to stop
Me: No! I will not stop.
My inner demon: Well, have some of this then.
At this point imagine a little red demon jabbing me under my right knee cap with his little pitch fork.
Me: Ouch! No, must keep going!
My inner demon: Stop torturing yourself and stop running, this might help.
He jabs me under my left knee cap.
Me: Arghhh. You little #$!%@%#! Maybe just a little bit further then…
And so it goes on until he’s basically defeated me and I have actually decided to stop “at the next corner”. Note: I really have decided to stop, I am not just trying to trick him. And so I jog on. My inner demon, in the meantime accepts this and obviously decides to take a well earned break and head out for a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, or whatever it is that inner demons do in their time off. And guess what? With the little git with the pitch fork out for a walk all my pain dissapears. So I get to the next corner and… carry on.
This happens Every. Single. Run. Now I am prepared!
Isn’t it strange how when you’ve been turning an idea over and over in your head for a while you often come upon an article that affirms your thoughts, almost exactly. Well this is precisely what happened to me over the weekend, when I came across the BBC article “Running as Therapy“.
It’s nice to know I am not crazy!