How do cycles affect your life?

Run time! No, this is not the run time for my computer. This is my personal running time. I have been running regularly for 35 years. On the average, I run about 5 times a week and about 3 to 4 miles each run. I am still waiting for the runners “high” where I can feel nothing but blissful peace. I really enjoy running but through the years, there have been numerous pains and hurts to overcome. It seems to get harder running in the winter. I suppose running is a great deal like life, it has its ups and downs and it only gets better when we keep working at it. There are no magical highs (except for temporary ones on drugs) but in general, the pleasure I get from running out weighs the pain. I no longer try to increase my running speed or my distances. I will not be an Olympic marathoner nor am I training for my 101st marathon. I like to say I am a “maintenance” runner. That is my schedule is set up to maintain my present level of fitness. For my age, I am in reasonably good health. I am five foot eight inches tall and I weigh about 140 lbs. I feel good and have not been to surgery or to the doctor for anything serious yet in my life. I pray it will remain the same for the next ten years.

What does running have to do with time? I find that by doing “maintenance” running, I notice my running times go in cycles with the seasons. I run more in the late summer and fall and less in the winter and spring. At first I was worried at these dips in my “maintenance” schedule. Then, I read that it is natural to go with a cycle and that it lets my body recover. Just like winter allows the earth to recover before it starts to bud out in spring and emerge more glorious in summer. As each year progresses, I find that I am running farther and farther and enjoying it more and more. As winter sets in again, I slow down and with the shorter days, my runs become shorter and shorter. Spring is when I start feeling like increasing my runs and distance, though I feel sluggish after the long winter in Minnesota. My body and running seem to respond to the same cycles as the earth.

Have you ever found a cycle to your life? What activities or efforts in your life seem cyclical? Do you fight your cycles or do you allow yourself to “go with the flow.” How have cycles made a difference in your life? Would better managing your natural cycles improve your life?

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