The least I can do is try...

On Running – Lighten Up Stupid!!

In Fitness Bliss on April 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Yesterday I decided that I would get a run in before my evening flight at any cost. I didn’t care if I ended up putting off the tasks I needed to finish, or phone calls I needed to make—I was going to go on that run!!!  I had missed my Saturday run—so this was a catch up run—thus upping the ante. In a manner deserving of “Eye of the Tiger” in the background, I got ready to go. Running tights adjusted, sunscreen slathered, favorite running socks procured, sneakers secured, Garmin configured—all systems go!

Tearing out the door into the warm spring weather, I pounded pavement. My run interval had gone up by a minute in the training plan so I felt a little excitement and apprehension.  My old running habits came back to me- the familiar repetition of “in-in out-out” played in my head matching my footsteps to my breaths. The first interval was cake—however, in my second interval, my feet felt a little heavier and the fear of failure started creeping in. What if I could not make it through this run interval? What if my very basic running plan was too hard for me? I looked at my pace on the Garmin and my heart sunk further—soooo slooooow. At that moment, I passed two little girls running around in their front yard and shoving each other off a tree swing in turns. Despite the carnage involved, they looked pretty happy. If someone had told them to halt all activities and go inside—they would have most likely been bummed. Judging by the tree swing warfare—the mandate would not have been taken passively either.  All of a sudden, I felt stupid…. this run was MY outside time! It was not my job or a  to-do chore on my task list and it most definitely was not something anyone else was making me do! This was my time—and much like those kids wanted time for their crazy outdoor antics—I wanted this.  Also, I should have  been frickin’ grateful that I COULD be outside running. I was not in a hospital bed, or a wheel chair, or confined inside by warfare or safety issues of any kind. Life was pretty good and I was failing to acknowledge it.  All of a sudden my feet felt lighter—I relaxed my shoulders, shook out my clenched hands, and pushed forward. Before I knew it, I had gotten through the rest of my intervals and was accidentally running through my cool-down. I headed home triumphantly and flashed the neighbor’s cat a victory sign— for all he knew, I was a quick-footed  Kenyan.

I have decided that to get through this, I have to lighten up— if I am not having fun now, it will certainly not get any better as the training plan gets more challenging. Also, all I can do is my best! Stay true to the plan, listen to Coach Christine, and listen to my body—that is absolutely all I can do! If my body has the capacity to make it to a half marathon in November, it will make it. If not, I will just have to pick another race! If my legs take longer than I want to start going the pace I want them to go, do I really have any other choice than to accept that? It is a better option than quitting! I am also fairly sure that bionic legs are not in my price range.  I know it’s not an edgy philosophy—it probably earns me a soundtrack that is more befitting to “Sesame Street” than Rocky. However, for now, runs are simply my time outside to take in some fresh air, go as fast as my legs let me, and appreciate what I can do in the moment.

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