Running is one of the only times during the day that is completely mine and mine alone. I love the freedom of being in nature, rain or shine, listening to a podcast or audiobook, getting lost in my own head, and just going. I can think, problem solve, zone out, de-stress, relax–or all or none of the above. I almost feel like I am speech writing when I run: my thoughts seem clearer. My ideas are more precise and well-articulated.
When I am home in Seattle, I run in my neighborhood, Queen Anne, which is beautiful and tree-lined with views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. If I have time, I add a detour to Kerry Park and take in an amazing view of the Space Needle and downtown. When I am in New York, I love running to the East River Park on the Lower East Side, and then next to the water and under all of the bridges. When I am in Paris, I always run along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower and back.
I’ve been running for about two years, and now I don't feel ready for the day without a morning run. My routine is usually running at 6 a.m., after I’ve had a cup of coffee. It gives me energy for my entire day–it gets my endorphins doing high kicks. I try to run at least four miles each time unless I’m short on time, but if I can clock in six or eight miles, I get a huge sense of accomplishment. It puts the other tasks in my day into perspective.
When it hurts or I’m tired, I always tell myself how fortunate I am to be running on two legs that have been well nourished and well taken care of. There are so many people out there who don’t even have the opportunity to go outside and be safe, or don’t have the opportunity to take care of their bodies with healthy food and exercise. I’m grateful every day to be healthy and to be able to run.
The best thing about running is knowing that you’ve done something great for yourself that day. It can be just about you and clearing your head, or it can be a group activity where you connect with others. It doesn't cost anything and you chose your routine and pace: the experience is completely in your own control. And sometimes, when you’re coming around the bend, you get to catch an incredible sunrise or a beautiful garden or a morning hello from a fellow runner going in the opposite direction. I love those moments.