Running and Mental Health Lately

So today I thought I would do something different and share a random running and mental health update! In this post, I’ll give you some fun facts up my running life lately, as well as share some info about how my mental health has been lately!

I currently don’t have any races on the horizon. Mostly because we’re moving into the winter season and in this area, the races really die down in winter because of the weather. I know that soon I’ll be doing most of my runs on the treadmill so I’m trying to enjoy my outdoor runs while I can. Yesterday was 75 degrees and sunny which is totally unusual for November in Pittsburgh, but I won’t complain!

Lately I’ve been running 2 or 3 miles a few days a week. It’s not much and my running isn’t super structured right now. It’s just for fun and for maintaining my mental health. I can tell after a few days of not running that I start to feel a bit off balance. That is usually a cue that it’s time for a run!

It’s starting to get dark really early now, like around 5pm, so the lunch runs seem to be a good time to run outside. I would love to someday be an early morning runner, but right now I value my sleep too much. I’m also one of those people that loves to slowly sip a coffee in the morning and lay on the couch, and the idea of jumping out of bed to go running immediately just seems like too much for me. I love to start my mornings slowly. Maybe someday I’ll catch on to early morning running!

I am really looking forward to 2021 and I’m hoping that races will be in person again. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and it won’t be canceled or virtual. I’m also hoping I’ll be able to do a few more races around Pittsburgh.

Lately my mental health has been really good. My psychiatrist raised the dose of my SSRI a few months ago, and it has definitely made a difference. I don’t have nearly as much anxiety as I used to have. It is making a HUGE difference for me. I used to worry constantly and had to consistently do work to navigate my anxious thoughts. Now I have a few anxious thoughts now and then, but they seem to be few and far between.

My social anxiety is also virtually gone. I have shared before about what my social anxiety is like. Something that has been super interesting is prior to taking an SSRI, I had a lot of anxiety with social situations, and mostly chose to avoid them. I considered myself to be an introvert. After I started taking the SSRI, the fear of social situations is pretty much gone and I actually really enjoy social events now. I love talking to and being around people, and I feel like I can be myself.

I was joking with my family that of course the year that I finally enjoy social gatherings for the first time, a global pandemic hits and now all social gatherings are canceled – go figure! Oh well, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for social events in the future!

Looking forward to the upcoming holiday season! Happy running!

Linking up with Runner’s Roundup! Mile by MileConfessions of a Mother RunnerRuns with Pugs, Coach Debbie Runs, and Laura Norris Running

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7 Comments

  1. Its great to hear that you are feeling good and that your medication is helping! And great news on the social anxiety! Oh the irony though of finally wanting to be around people and now there’s a pandemic that prevents that from happening:)

  2. Sounds like you’re having a great year, even with all the topsy-turvy stuff happening. It took me awhile to become an eager early-morning runner. Fortunately, I am early-riser (most mornings before my alarm goes off), so the early runs work well for me and especially for my work schedule. The important thing (and you probably know this LOL) is to do what works for you 😉

  3. Sounds like you are in a really good place. That’s too bad that you’re enjoying social situations when we can’t be all that social — but it won’t be forever.

    I also am running less time, less mileage, sometimes by design, sometimes because that’s what my body wants, and sometimes just because craziness in life.

  4. That’s great to hear that your medication change helped! I struggle with anxiety too and getting into a run routine really does help.

  5. I am so glad to hear that you are doing so well.

    Florida does get races all through the winter, so we are starting to see some of those creep back. It’s nice, but a little nerve-wracking.

    My social anxiety really ramped up because of the pandemic. I’m sure a lot had to do with not being near anyone while I was trying to recover from my broken leg and surgery, and just when I was ready to get back to life, COVID hit. Bummer. Hoping I can get back to my normal soon, too.

  6. I’m glad that you’re doing well and that your medication has helped. Running is such a boost for mental health.

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