Friday, November 4, 2011

Writing & Running: A Perfect Pair

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 was to get into shape. I had a specific "weight goal" in mind, and I had a method for how to lose said weight.

So in the Spring, after procrastinating greatly (Who can exercise in 12 feet of snow? And I'm still recovering from that sinus infection... the one I had a month ago. And it's reaaaaaallly nice and warm in here. Is that hot chocolate in my Keurig?) I decided to dust off my running shoes and start the Couch to 5k program that worked so well for me a few years ago when I ran the Tulsa Run 15k.

But I quickly realized it wasn't going to work so easily this time around. Timing myself, sticking to a weekly schedule just wasn't working for me anymore. So I just started running. And I would run until I was tired. At first it was just a half a mile; and slowly, over the course of the year, it picked up to the steady 3 miles, 3 times a week that I'm at today.

In training for the Tulsa Run (a 15k) I decided to "cross train" by riding my mom's old bike.

And that, folks, is how I found myself completing my first Sprint Triathlon this fall!

And signing up for another one in January... gulp.

I found my rhythm. For me, at this point in my life, I enjoy running in smaller quantities and mixing it up with biking and swimming. It challenges me, excites me- and has become one of the biggest priorities in my life.

 I'm happier when I work out; my stress level is WAY lower; I feel more focused and energized. I eat better. I'm more confident in the way I look. I made it a priority and I committed to it; and it's been life-changing. And not just in the health department; it's made it's way into my creative process, too.

When I read this blog post by Paul Jun the other day- drawing this lovely connection between writing and running- it all clicked into place.

This line in particular totally resonated in my soul: "I cannot stress how important it is for a writer to exercise both their brain and their body. That build-up of stress and constant weeks of working without exercise greatly impacts your train of thought."

Of course that's his opinion- but I just love that thought! And I love thinking that running and biking, while releasing stress and allowing me to get lost in my thoughts, is also making me a better, more clear-headed writer.

Because I truly believe it is. When I get up in the morning to run, I put on my ipod. Some days I listen to rap and other days, Christian music. Some days the sun is just coming up, and some days it's already beating down on me. I have a series of conversations with myself: my to-do list for the day; my biggest dreams; my greatest worries; people I need to call; quiet moments with the Lord.

It all happens in that hour; and it sets the course for the rest of my day. It extends into my drive to work; my meetings; and eventually, my blog posts.

Some days, I have a few minutes of quiet where I write in my journal before I run. So I would even argue that at times, running doesn't impact my writing- but writing impacts my running.

I came across these 26.2 Bible Versus for marathon runners over at Mile Posts! I think I need to record these and keep them on repeat on my ipod while running. :)

Fellow bloggers and writers, how do you clear your head?  And fellow runners/bikers- do you find that in some ways, it makes you a better writer? 

What do you lean on for inspiration- both when running and writing?


  1. I'm proud of you for making time and space to clear your head. This is something I struggle with big time. I ran a half marathon a few years back and lost my jive after it. Running + yoga is the perfect combo for me, but I need to be more disciplined in making time for it. Props to you for making it part of your routine and for loving it.

  2. Your nothing to a sprint triathlon is SO inspiring! Making fitness a priority is the key to success, but sometimes it is just so hard to make it happen. I totally agree with the mental benefits that come with running ... it's totally why I run! :) Hope you are having a great weekend!

  3. How exciting! :o) I like to run/walk to start my day as well.


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