What does that mean? well sure we all say it clears our head and releases endorphins as with most exercise but the effects of running seem to last longer than that hour at the gym or even yoga (which I enjoy both.)
When I worked in sales and had no idea of what I was doing I ran and overcame my fear of failure to become one of the top sales people in my field.
It seems that 20 mile long runs before work calmed my mind the whole day made me more confident in dealing with people arrogant or otherwise, no longer was i worried about 'getting the sale' I just focused on the process while the results took care of themselves.
When my mother was dying of cancer I turned to running, I ran as much as I could I trained and over trained for ultra marathons 25 miles long runs followed by 10 mile runs the next day but it helped keep me sane and gave me hope. When she did pass I ran more, I broke down during my runs and picked myself up and kept going. Every day I am thankful that I am a runner for that, some people turn to drugs, drink, or just curl up in a ball but I ran which made grieving more tolerable and enabled me to see that everything would be OK in time.
Running marathons and running in general to me is a metaphor for life. You start out nervous, you get into a groove then it gets fun, then it becomes challenging so much so you want to give up but then before you know it it's over and you're looking for another challenge because when you're done and they put that silly medal around your neck you realize it wasn't the marathon that you loved doing it was the training that got you there to the finish.
Yes we are in the midst of a new running boom and I like to think that while I was running in Central Park, on the track, or around the world for that matter that maybe, just maybe I inspired a someone out there to lace up a pair of running shoes and just go for it.