One of the things I love most about long distance running is the “me time” it provides. Though there are so many ways you can spend quality alone time, running provides a different setting than reading, watching movies, and other things of that nature. I’ve always noticed when I’m running I tend to block out everything around me. Now, I don’t block it out to a dangerous point. I still hear cars and take note of my surroundings. But, it seems like everything just fades away. Running almost feels like meditation at times, especially when I’m about half way into my workout and at a comfortable pace. I concentrate on my breathing, keeping it even and steady. I focus on my footing, form, and center of balance. It’s very calming.
This is probably one of the reasons running is my best way of relieving stress. The moment I hit the pavement, any bothersome thoughts or worries stop. Everything just seems to melt away. It gives my mind a break from whatever may be bothering me. The only thought process I have during my runs is that little voice of, “You’ve got this. Keep going. Relax your arms. Open your stride a bit. You know you can do it.” I always think of it as my inner coach. But other than that, my mind is pretty much silent. Then when I’m finished for the day, the endorphin rush kicks in and gets my happy, relaxed feelings going. So, thoughts of whatever had been bothering me beforehand do not return. Not for a few hours afterwards anyway.
The only issue I come across with this mindset, though, is when people see me running and want to get my attention or cheer me on, it scares me, haha.