Book of the day - Running Is My Therapy by Scott Douglas
As a runner I felt it was time I start reading running books. This is my first running book in years. You might look at hackerfinance.com and wonder how I find time to read this much or have this many ideas. The answer is running. Running has been my zen since college. As an ultra runner, there are weekends where I spend 5+ hours on a trail at the top of Malibu. Looking down on the ocean, bounding across boulders, and across creeks, and seeing at most five people total. I spend this time zoned out, sometimes thinking, many times processing thoughts of the previous week.
In the mornings I walk. Living in Santa Monica I’m fortunate to have Palisades Park and The Strand to walk for 1 hour every morning. This morning walk is my ritual. It is my golden hour and the first thing I perform in the morning. I walk before I make my bed. I walk before I shower. I walk before I eat. It has been a routine I started after getting divorced a few years ago. I put my headphones in and listen to a book, music, or a meditation. This walking start to my day has changed my life. For some reason I haven’t been able to shift the walk to a run, but someday I hope to. Maybe this book will be the key.
In the evening I run. When I close my laptop for the day, I already have my running shorts on and execute on my minimum of six miles per day running routine. I know every Monday-Thursday route and its distance. If It has been a particularly stressful day I’ll take one of my 10 mile trail running options, such as Will Rodgers to Temescal. If it’s a gorgeous night, but too little light out, I’ll get 10 miles in by running to the Venice Pier. If I want to get my day over with, I’ll choose my six mile option and run towards Malibu on The Strand.
On to the book Running is My Therapy by Scott Douglas:
The book is filled with scientific studies used to backup the thought that running is one of the strongest ways of battling depression. Whether it’s Vitamin D deficiency in the winter or summer race fatigue. If you can get yourself outside for a run, no distance goal required if you will feel better. While there is not a distance goal, there is a time goal of 30 minutes.
Running is My Therapy argues the unmatched strength of pure running towards fighting depression. The ground forces that many people say will ruin your joints, actually puts your body into recovery mode, releasing the perfect ingredient to fight depression.
There was a gap in the book that I had to skip. I personally can’t stand listening to alcoholics talk about alcoholism or chronically depressed people talk about depression. It’s a flaw of mine that I don’t like to hear sick people talk about being sick, down to the point I don’t like hearing about people with a common cold or stomach bug talk about being sick. Running is my Therapy goes through a couple chapters describing his own depression and others depression. For my personality flaw I can’t handle this talk and skipped this portion of the book. I rarely skip any portion of a book, but something about people talking about there sickness turns me off enough to skip reading it. Fortunately this was only a couple of the early chapters of the book.
As you can predict, a book titled Running is my Therapy talks about running and it’s effect on fighting depression….a lot. After 30 minutes of reading I felt the redundancy of the book and the “Yea, I get it” going through my brain for the remainder of the book. The book was never bad, but it was a single idea “running is good for you” described in 100 different ways. As a dedicated runner, I whole heartedly agreed with every point the author Scott Douglas made. I’ve experienced, most of the same feelings the author described in the book after big summer races or winter blues.
30 minutes - Get out for 30 minutes 3x per week at a minimum to maintain good mental health. The rest will come
Take Vitamin D in the winter. There’s not enough Vitamin D being shed from the sun in the winter months
Set goals. Without a running goal, whether it’s a race, distance per week, or new trail to run. Without a goal you will skip workouts repeatedly
Find a group to run with. This group will become your family. One of my own personal experiences was with the Golden Gate Triathlon Club. Between 2007 - 2010 the group I trained with became my family. We trained together, celebrated holiday’s together, traveled together, and raced as a team. GGTC was my highlight of living in San Francisco.