That feeling you get from a good run.

While I was training for the Chicago Marathon I think my running shoes covered every street in Des Plaines. Once in a while a patron will tentatively come up to me in the library and say that they think they saw me run past their house and bolder patrons have yelled out to me in the parking lot asking why I'm not in my running clothes.

My running shoes aren't clocking as many miles these days and I'm usually accompanied by a (VERY excited) four legged companion, but I still get out there as often as I can. What keeps me hooked on running isn't weight loss, cute running clothes, or the occasional runners high. It's the mental health benefit. Now I can feel when I need a run. When I feel overwhelmed and I'm snapping at my kids and thinking there's no time for a run. That is exactly when I know that I need it most.

Running is really the only time I allow myself to live completely in the moment and let the housework, the errands, and the obligations just slip away. Well, they don't really slip away, but the pressure I put on myself to do it all slips away. I think of running as a kind of moving meditation, and while you can find similar peace of mind in other activities (my husband says he finds it while playing hockey - that is on my long list of things only a Canadian would say). Running will always be my favorite path to peace of mind.

A key to becoming a consistent runner or completing your first 5K is to remember that running is hard for everyone. We all start out slow and short. I first started running regularly when my youngest daughter was three. I would put her in the running stroller and run a whole .5 miles to the railroad tracks by our house and then walk part of the way back. I never imagined myself running a long distance. I was slow, but determined. Soon we were going over the tracks and a little more each day eventually turned into five or ten miles. It's okay to be a beginner, but you can't get to the finish line unless you start somewhere.

Spring is a great time to try out a short run or begin training for your first 5K. At the library we have lots of resources to embolden seasoned runners and inspire new ones. Here are some of my favorite ways to find a reason to run:

Runner's World

Runner's World

A great resource for runners with articles on race training, nutrition and gear for the 5K runner, the ultra-marathoner, and everyone in between. Runner's world always gives me the mental push I need to get out the door. It's available for checkout in our print magazine collection and through Zinio, our digital magazine service.



The music you love might not be the music that you enjoy all other hours of the day. So why spend money on songs you only want to listen to while running? Through our downloadable music service, Freegal, Des Plaines patrons can download and keep five songs a week. I love Freegal because it gives me the power to mix up my running playlist whenever I want without costing me a penny. 

Spirit of the Marathon

Spirit of the Marathon

Elite, seasoned and first-time marathoners are profiled in this engrossing documentary that depicts the spiritual and physical triumph of running the Chicago Marathon while capturing the essence our city, our enthusiastic spectators, and our magnificent marathon course.  

Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line - and Not Lose your Family, Job, or Sanity.

Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line - and Not Lose your Family, Job, or Sanity.

Dimity McDowell

Train Like a Mother and its companion blog Another Mother Runner give practical advice on training and nutrition and provide support and encouragement for busy moms who want to keep on running, or try it out for the first time. 

The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13 Week RunWalk Program

The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13 Week RunWalk Program

Ian MacNeill

The Beginning Runners Handbook covers everything a new runner needs to know and includes a great 13 week training program to get you started. 

Hal Higdon's How to Train

Hal Higdon's How to Train

Hal Higdon

Hal Higdon's training method has helped countless runners get to the finish line. No matter your level or your ultimate goal, How To Train is an essential reference that you will consult over and over again. 

Born to Run

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Christopher McDougall

Chrstopher McDougall embarks on a mission to uncover the secrets of the legendary Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyon, said to be able to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. This empowering story makes that case that running is at the heart of what it means to be human. If you think running isn't for you, this book just might make you realize that you were indeed "born to run."

Zen and the Art of Rnning

Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with your Pace

Larry Shapiro

It’s not necessary to train for a race or put the pressure of achieving a certain pace on yourself. There is a real freedom to just going out for a run without a goal in mind and just seeing where the run takes you. Zen and the Art of Running helps runners adopt Buddha’s mindful philosophy in order to gain tranquility and awareness through running.

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