by Gina Shell

A stress reliever for many years for me was running. Nothing beats the fresh crisp air, light drizzle, or even an occasional snowflake.   After a hectic day at school or work, a good run always was the key. A group of 10 to 12 would meet at the YMCA for our evening runs. Depending on the day, the workouts varied. But, it was great to relieve stress by running with friends. Tuesdays were “girls run” only. There were only 3 of us, and we did our own thing away from the guys run. It was always an 8 – 10 mile run. One evening, the run was interrupted by 3 tiny kittens by Heritage Hills. However, that story will follow in a later blog. (Hint: don’t leave your front door unlocked!!)

Running can cause stress too though. There are several symptoms to recognize overstress. One example is tiredness without being able to sleep. You know your body is physically and mentally tired, but you are unable to fall asleep. You can have lowered your general resistance. This lowered resistance includes: sore throat, colds, fevers, and possibly blisters.

A previous blog covered the importance of rest days.  When you have a lack of enthusiasm for the run, you are overstressed. It is as if the run becomes a “chore” and not something you would enjoy. This response is your body telling you to take time off. If you don’t listen to your body, you are taking the risk of an injury.

As runners get older, they need more recovery time. It’s beneficial to take time off as needed as opposed to a doctor telling you that you can no longer run. Next time you go for a run enjoy the scenery, the workout, and fellow runners. Use the run as it was meant to be… destress and relax.

Happy running