Thursday, 2 June 2011

Study, study, study, RUN, study...

It’s the time of year when taking a University summer course seems like a big mistake.  When I signed up for the class, at the end of April when the weather was still cold and wet, it seemed like a great idea to take a tough course during the summer when I had more time to focus on the material.  But now, with the weather so sunny and hot, there’s nothing I’d love more than to chuck the text books and spend all day outside.  The only thing keeping me going on days that I spend inside studying, like yesterday, is knowing that the course is short (only 6 weeks long!) and that taking a break to go for a run doesn’t technically count as procrastinating, because it is necessary exercise so it has to be done, right?  And if it gives me a chance to spend some time outside, all the better. 
I love running in what other people would call unfavourable conditions.  Extreme heat? Terrific, there’s nothing better than a real good sweat every once in awhile.  Snowing out? A little slip-sliding can be fun on a run, especially when you can appreciate the beauty and silence of a snowfall.  Torrential downpour? Runs in the rain are the most refreshing, energizing runs. 
My wonderful yellow running shoes I purchased in Iceland and my Organic Chem textbooks

Yesterday I had a lot of pent up energy for running in the heat (30 degrees plus the humid X) from spending all day inside studying.  Yesterday’s run had challenging windy conditions that made part of the run seem more like a wind resistant workout than a tempo run.  Before starting the run, my blood sugars were dropping so I had to drink a bit of juice and eat some bread and honey.  I opted for honey on toast instead of peanut butter because I knew I was going to do a quick (-30min), tempo run and would need the quick sugar more than the lasting protein.  Luckily, half a piece of bread with honey or peanut butter never seems to give me a cramp.  The run itself was wonderfully sweaty and hard, with quite a few hills, but very rewarding.
Taking the time to go for a quick run, even when bogged down with studying, helps me keep control of my blood sugars, and has the added benefit of keeping me healthy, strong and in good spirit.  I know from experience that it is easy to get busy with school, work, or life in general, and how quickly one missed workout can turn into a week of missed workouts, but it really is important to make exercise a priority.    

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