Coach Mike Mead

October 2014

Running through the Stressful Times

The past five to six weeks have been the most stressful times of my adult working life and I have to credit my many years of running for keeping me sane and healthy. We tend to underestimate the benefits running provides if one practices it on a regular basis.

Right after college, I spent a few years as a sportswriter. Working in football country put my running on the back burner during the fall. I was able to get in sporadic, going-through-the-motion runs, but never consistent training. Oh, forget about racing! Covering high school football took up my Friday nights and there was seldom a chance to work late and make an 8 a.m. road race on Saturday.

For more than a month this fall, I have been working triple-duty as we try to fill a key opening in our department that requires some of my former job skills. The extremely long days have wrecked havoc on my sanity and running. It has always been a challenge to run and coach runners. My personal running takes a backseat, especially during cross country season, when our prime workouts occur during the mornings.

My additional, but temporary, duties have really made it more difficult to maintain my running routine. Many days, I have had to take sleep over running!

I have recognized that my running routine has helped me cope and stay somewhat healthy compared to if I had not been a runner. One does not understand how you benefit physically and emotionally from running until you are unable to do so.

During these recent stressful weeks, my running has been limited to three or four runs a week of about four miles or 30 minutes per run. Nothing too significant, but enough to take the edge off the stress and enhance what sleep I was able to get.

My running routine accounted for me being able to keep a working routine. I may have worked longer and later, but I still got up the same time and made it through the day. I had those days of feeling whipped, but I’m certain my years of have running has kept me going.

Running still keeps me going! I cannot imagine how my life or health would be had I stopped running many years ago and lived a “couch potato” life-style. I do not have to take meds to control my vital functions.

During my issue with prostate cancer six years ago, I attributed my running lifestyle to getting me through the surgery and radiation therapy with relative ease and little setbacks. Running toughened me up for my current, past, and future challenges.

Many times since my college days of running, I frequently asked myself, “Why am I still running? Why am I still doing this?” Now I know the answer and I will continue to run, as long as the good Lord allows me to keep on keepin’ on!

Happy trails!