For anyone that didn't hear me screaming from the rooftops yesterday, let me fill you in. I started running 2 years ago but since losing my job, I've really stepped it up and been more consistent with my workouts in general. A few months ago I set a goal of running an organized 5K this August. I wanted to be able to run the whole thing without walking breaks. Yesterday, for the first time, I ran an entire 5K. It felt amazing. I immediately felt excited, proud, confident, and energized. I felt like I was floating through the rest of the day.
During the run, I was thinking about the positive changes in my attitude since I started running and realized something interesting. Years ago I started doing yoga to reduce my stress level. I was looking for something that would be relaxing to my mind and body and help to reduce my nervous tendencies. Don't get me wrong, I love yoga. It is relaxing and I love when I can stretch a little further than last time. But I've actually gained more calm peacefulness from running than I ever did from yoga. I would have never guessed that.
Strength training has always been mixed in with my workouts but my primary activity used to be yoga. Then I switched and started mostly running. The past couple months I scaled back on the running a little and increased my yoga and I've found that this is the best balance for me. I run better if I do even just 15 minutes of yoga beforehand (yesterday I did one hour of yoga immediately before the run). My yoga has also improved as my overall fitness increased thanks to the running.
The main lesson I learned through all this is that you need to find what works best for you and your goals. The best solution isn't necessarily the most obvious. But when you find that perfect balance, there is no limit to what you can do.
After getting back from our run, we went outside to pick a lot of strawberries. Some bonus deep knee bends and stretching to cool down!