Here is another guest post from our wonderful friend Andrea. Never afraid of a challenge Andrea is running the 100k trail run, through the night at Run Woodstock.
Here are her thoughts on why she started running and the therapy she found especially running in the dark. Make sure to wish her luck and let her know we are all right there with her….in the dark.
At a time in my life when everything seemed dark, I began running. I had terrible insomnia and somehow it just made sense if I couldn’t sleep to get out and run. I never was athletic, but would exercise off and on. I had actually run a marathon once, but it was years ago. But for whatever reason, I was certain running would help me stop the unraveling of my life. But it wasn’t just running, it was running in the dark.
Usually the witching hour for me was 4am. I would toss and turn for a bit, then give up on sleep. As quiet as possible, I would pull out my running clothes, trying not to wake my household. I was fairly new at this running stuff, so I layered as much on as I could for the cold Michigan air. I realized pretty quickly, dark could be really dark, and discovered the awesomeness of a headlamp.
At first, I could only make it out of my neighborhood, about a half a mile. But slowly, patiently, gradually, I was able to run 4 or 5 miles. The magic, though, was the dark. The peaceful dark.
The quiet dark. The undemanding dark. Sometimes, I would even close my eyes while running, just for a couple steps to be completely enveloped by the dark. For me, I found the only way to quiet my mind was to have my body in motion. I could see and think about things clearer. And then slowly, patiently, gradually I was able to start healing my life. I needed to be in the dark to see my way out of the darkness in my life.