What a difference a month makes! Instead of ice and snow, we have temperatures in the 70s most days, and everything is starting to bloom and grow.
I have been pondering another form of change and growth lately, in my attitude towards running. I've been running consistently for a little over a year now. Before training for last year's 10K, I ran occasionally, as a way to change up my exercise routine and do something that felt...cooler? than the elliptical. I had run three 5Ks when I decided to try a 10K, so it wasn't as if I was a complete beginner. But it was still something I did mainly for the benefits it gave me for other activities, like keeping me fit for tennis. Now? Now I can honestly say I run because I like running. That feels like such a radical statement for me, given that for most of my teens and 20s running was something I avoided at all costs, something akin to torture and craziness. These days, it is therapeutic, necessary. While I won't go so far as to say that I have felt a true runner's high, I definitely feel a mood lifting effect when I run these days. No matter how bad my day is or how foul a mood I am in, a run makes me feel better (at least for a little while).
Of course, I do still run to stay in shape, because I like to bake and cook and eat. And I believe in the Blerch. It is what got me started running, and some days it is what gets me out the door. I doubt I will ever run an ultramarathon, and might never even run a regular marathon, but if by getting out there four or five days a week I can keep the Blerch at bay and make myself happier, that is enough for me to keep putting on my shoes, strapping Malcolm into the stroller, and heading out for a run.