Posted by: thefitacademic | April 10, 2011

Running = Therapy

The alternative name for this post was: “Nix the Negative Talk.”


First, I want to say THANK YOU for sticking with me! I’ve been a bad blogger the past couple of weeks! I’m still reading your blogs, I just haven’t had time to comment individually. So I want you to know I’m still in the loop – just bear with me while my days are flying by at warp speed with no end in sight!


So everyone knows last week I was in Montreal for work. Well, I came back and basically dove head first into this week – which also extended into evenings (every.single.night) and the weekend, leaving me with almost NO time to myself.

In fact, I received a couple comments asking me how I could force myself to wake up so early for a workout when I’d only slept for about 5 or 6 hours. The answer is that for the past week, my workouts have been my ONLY “me-time” at all. I cherish that time dearly. I need that time to maintain my sanity.

And because I’ve been training for a triathlon I’ve found that lots of my exercise time has been spent at the gym where I can do “brick” workouts – doing some spinning, then straight to the treadmill. Or swimming, then straight to spinning. Although I think my body craves that movement (the rest of the day I’m sitting at a desk), I have definitely discovered that I don’t really care for cycling all that much, and running on the treaddreadmill (Caitlin’s term) is just about the WORST THING EVER.

And unfortunately, it has been a time where I sit there and ruminate about all the crazy/stressful things going on in my life. There has been a lot of cursing in my head over what’s happening at the office. And a LOT of “I hate my life” conversations with myself.



What does it accomplish? Nothing!

So what’s the point?

I love the saying from the move Van Wilder:  “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere”

Instead of continuing in the painful rumination about every little thing that has been bothering me or wearing me down, I’ve tried to use my workouts to listen to music and zone out. I forcefully make myself smile as I’m increasing the resistance on the bike or upping my speed on the treadmill. I’m pretty sure I’ve read a research study before that said something along the lines of “If you make yourself smile [even if you are faking it] you will be happier” – it has to do with the fact that the muscle movement sends messages to the brain that you really are happy (even if you aren’t), and then you end up really feeling happier.

At any rate, today my workout consists of a long jog OUTSIDE, rather than on the dreadmill! I don’t know about you guys, but for me Running = Therapy! I always just feel so much better when it’s done (same with yoga too, actually). I don’t know what it is about being outside pounding the pavement, but it releases the most incredible rush of endorphins that provides me with an energy boost and a mood lift simultaneously!

So today is going to be another crazy day. As will this entire week to come (and the week afterwards, too). I apologize if I’m spotty with replies or comments on your blogs. Just know that I’m still here – trying to keep it all together. There are only so many hours in the day, ya know?

I’ll leave you with a quote I found inspiring.


Sometimes its good to remind ourselves of what we LOVE about life and to know that for those not-so-good times….well, they’ll pass eventually.

And for right now – I’m plowing ahead full force. It’s the only way I know how : )

Have a Happy Sunday!!!

What’s your version of “therapy”?



  1. Running has become my version of therapy. I find the time to myself on the trail puts life in perspective. I hate the dreadmill, it’s almost like a dose of torture for me. I see no end point, no views, and stare blankly at the TV. A nice run outside is when I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

    I hope as you plow through the weeks ahead you make lots of you time. And don’t worry about commenting on everyones blogs. You can’t be Super woman all of the time. I’ll still be here to cheer you on! Now, don’t forget to have some you time on this lovely Sunday!

  2. great post 🙂 running (and working out) is such therapy for me too.

    I can’t stand when people give me and others a hard time for setting aside time to be active!

  3. Perfect timing for this post. Thanks so much! I’ve recently had a ton of bad news piling up and I really have been over-dwelling on it. The hubs isnt… so I totally shouldn’t be! im just going to enjoy everything that is GOOD right now while I still can… b/c stuff is changing fast!

    I need more work-out me time. its totally worth it. you’re right!

  4. This post very much relates to what the past week has been like for me. Exercise is definitely a therapy for me…and so is chasing my cat around when he’s in “crazy cat” mode (he likes to play “I’m a big stalky jungle cat” sometimes). I just appreciate those things that can get me out of my own head for a while….if nothing else, a dumb comedy almost always works.
    I hope your week has some good surprises for you!

  5. i had a rough busy week too! therapy for me is down time at home and a good workout.

  6. I haven’t seen Van Wilder, but I never would’ve guessed it would have such a wise quote! Well done you for fosucing on recognising and dispelling negative thoughts 🙂

    • oh, you definitely need to see the film! It’s silly (for sure), but it actually has quite a few nuggets of wisdom thrown in there ; )

  7. I agree that running is therapy, but only if I leave my watch, iPod, heart rate monitor, and any other distractions behind. The most comforting runs (for me, anyways) are the ones where I can hear my feet hitting the pavement and my breath whooshing in and out! Wishing you lots of good runs to get through your busy week…

  8. i know the feeling girl – grad school is grueling. nice job looking at the positive and keeping on! 🙂

  9. I hear ya with the neg talk-that’s something I’m working on now too!
    I’ve been a super bad blogger too, i’ve been debating about continuing or not.

    • it can be so demanding sometimes! And I feel bad when I’m not able to comment on everyone’s blogs, ya know?

  10. I LOVE that last ‘picture’ (the text one)….I so needed to read/see that. I am writing it in my A&P II lab manual RIGHT NOW!

    I totally agree with you that my workout time is my ME time…I get to focus on ME, get out all that negative energy and do something positive for myself. I wouldn’t give it up for the world!

  11. I exercise for “alone/ me/ thinking/ therapy” myself. I find that by getting the physical activity and blood pumping, I think more clearly and it improves my mood immensely, giving me energy.

    I love the quote about worrying, too- so true, but so hard to remember.

  12. Great post! So glad you are finding that little bit of time for yourself 🙂

  13. I use working out as a form of therapy too. I tend to over-obsess over things, especially workplace problems, so a good run is a sure-fire way to put those things out of my mind. Stay positive, girl!

  14. Running is my therapy, but sometimes I really need a good yoga class! I get so caught up in Garmin times and paces and yoga just lets me unwind from all of that.

    I think you’re doing amazing with working out with all that you have going on!

  15. Working out is definitely a stress reliever for me too. If I’m sick of homework, a good, heart pumping workout never fails to clear my mind. Good for you for staying positive!

  16. Therapy = running, yoga and wine!

  17. well, I work as a therapist so I’m around them all day 🙂 Plus, I run and COOK for my “therapy”

  18. I use running as therapy too… It’s a great form (and cheap) 🙂

  19. My therapy is singing, loud like I’m some kind of diva. And dancing along to the music. In the kitchen.

    • haha, i totally love this!!! I should do it more often!

  20. What a lovely, inspiring post. I’m definitely guilty of falling into the trap of negative self-talk. I’ve also read about that study saying that smiling makes you happier, even if you were cranky when you started smiling. I absolutely believe in the power of “fake it ’til you make it”.

    That said, I know myself, and I know that I’m healthier and happier is I get at least 7 and a half (preferably 8-9) hours of sleep every night. I make that a priority. I just can’t be productive AND cheerful on only 5 or 6 hours of sleep!

    • i totally agree! I try not to make it a habit! This week is already looking better – still crazy, but at least I’ve been sleeping a normal amount!!!

  21. I totally agree that exercise is therapeutic. I actually hate working out on only 5 or 6 hours of sleep though because I feel like it actually has a negative impact on me. I need my sleep!

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