Guest Blog: Samantha Hagness
How to find time for those weekly runs
Although sometimes it feels as though running is my entire identity, at the end of the day, that is simply not true. I am a runner. But I am more than just that. I am a speech-language pathologist. I am a student. I am a fiancé. I am a daughter. I am a friend. I am a blogger. I am so many other things before, next to, and after being a runner, and because I am not a professional runner, I am constantly trying to balance work, study, play, relationships and running. Realistically, all of those things just don’t fit into my 24 hour day, so I have been forced to master the art of multitasking while I complete my weekly runs. Here’s how it works:
I recently got engaged (very recently, like last week) and have managed to think through almost every detail, down to my “something blue,” while running the trails. I have listened to love songs, picked my favorites, rehearsed my vows, and dreamt up all the décor while scrambling across rocks and scurrying over puddles this week. One of my dear friends said it best when she noted that our brains work best when our feet are moving. It must be true because I am a planning machine on my weekly runs through the trails.
For 2 years straight, I listened to the same playlist on repeat every time I went for a run. I just did some quick math, and that means I listened to the same less-than-impressive mix of Joe Diffe and Jason Mraz, among others, for a grand total of 900 hours. I simply cannot believe that it took me 900 hours to realize that I could listen to podcasts and learn something other than the words to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” on all of my weekly runs. I am currently up-to-date on the latest season of Serial thanks to my weekly runs. I also recently downloaded some Spanish podcasts to truly maximize my time, so if you hear a lady conjugating her verbs on the trail, it is probably me.
3. Meditation and Relaxation
When people ask me why I choose to run ultramarathons, one item that consistently makes my ever-changing list is that I am able to relax. There is something about the controlled breathing, the desert air, and the repetitive beat of my feet against the trail that takes me to my happy place- a place where I feel like the best and most perfect me.
Some of my favorite conversations happen to the beat of a run. I guess it all goes back to our brains working best when our feet are moving. Even when my lungs are far too angry to make conversation, there is something to be said about synchronizing your breaths and your steps as you climb a mountain with a friend.
My weekly runs are here to stay, so some days, I just have to get a little extra creative to make them fit. We get 24 hours in a day, and I am bound and determined to accomplish and experience as much as I can, even if that means multitasking when I hit the trails.
Good stuff, Samantha. It’s tough trying to balance, life, marriage, work, relationships, family, and running. Before marriage and kids, I used to do mini tri everyday. And that is just my training. So, I hear you there about planning and finding time to fit in your weekly runs. My planning is, I run during lunch and take the kids with me in the stroller. I don’t run races, unless I’m pushing a stroller. Cheers to finding time and planning!