I run most days lately. When I step outside, I just run until I feel like turning around. Usually I end up running for 30-90 minutes.

When I run, I don’t track my pacing or my distance. Sometimes I go fast, sometimes I go slow. I have certain routes I repeat, but I don’t know how far they are — I only know how long they take me. Sometimes I run somewhere I’ve never been.

I don’t do it to stay in shape or to prepare for a race. You can learn about staying in shape here. I run because it makes my mind feel better.

On the days I don’t run, I feel stuck and lethargic. It seems backwards, but expending a lot of energy during my run gives me more energy for the rest of the day. When I don’t run, my ideas feel jumbled. Running gives my mind a certain clarity that’s difficult to explain. For those 30-90 minutes, the only obligation I have is moving my body forward. I’m completely free.

If I run in the morning, it’s easier to get my work done for the day. If I run in the evening, it’s a great release after getting my work done.

It’s refreshing to spend 30-90 minutes of my time to simply move my body. My mind wanders and I get to think about anything I want. Nothing exists outside of my moving body.

Some days are harder than others. On those days, I enjoy pushing my body. It’s like a game, seeing how long I can go. I see it as a concrete metaphor for anything else in life. It’s a vivid feeling of testing my current capabilities.

Why do you run?