Why do I run? I run because I've been running as long as I can remember.
I run to stay in shape. I run because it makes me feel good, physically and mentally. I like the challenge, the discipline. I run to test my limits.
I run 5 days a week, usually 7-8 miles a day. My running days are usually Sunday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday. This is the schedule that works for me, but you have to listen to your body, and not try to push yourself too hard when you are tired.
You have to run when you are tired if you want to stay in shape. But if you are relaxed when you are running, then you don't have to push yourself. This is part of the fun of running, that it helps you to relax, and deal with stress. Running helps you to be free, to have control over your life.
I run as soon as I get up in the morning, because then I don't have to think about getting ready to run. I just put my running clothes on, and go. The routine now is: up at 4:45 a.m., run for 65-70 minutes, and finish by 6:00 a.m.
You have to run up the hills. The more hills you run, the better conditioning it is. Plus, if you run uphill the first half of the run, then you can run downhill the second half of the run. You can cruise, and let your mind wander. You can let time work for you. You can just let time go by until you've finished your run.
If I were a better runner, then I would put more time into running. But I feel I am on the borderline between being a jogger and a runner. I feel good when I can open up my stride, when I can step up my pace, when I can spring and glide. Even on the days when my weight is up, and I feel slow and heavy, I feel that a runner is trapped somewhere inside me trying to get out. Then, on the days when I feel that I am in shape, I can run fast enough to feel that I've achieved something.
There are so many elements to running--speed, stamina, form, stride, spring, flexibility. Weight-control is such an important element in running. One day your upper body feels strong, but your lower body feels overweight. One day your legs feel the right weight, but you don't have any pep. One day your legs feel rested, the next day they don't. When several elements come together for you, such as being rested and having strength in your legs, then you can have a good run.
Your legs are like steel, like a rocket ready for take-off, you have to tell yourself. Your legs are as hard as the road. When you feel refreshed, your legs will take you anywhere you want to go.