Lessons From the Road

The other morning, I slept through my alarm a bit. Perhaps quacking ducks are not going to cut it as my new alarm ringtone.

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Once I woke up, it was too late to go to the gym; especially since my brand-new alternator decided to stop charging my battery again (nice, huh?) and I was carpooling with the hubs.

I’d planned some speedwork, which I prefer to do on the treadmill, but I figured would give it a try outside. I only had half an hour and wanted to do some sort of ladder workout. But 5 minutes in, I could tell it was not going to go as planned. My inner monologue was reactive. Immediately, negative thoughts went through my head…why is this so hard today? I feel fine, why won’t my legs move faster? Maybe I should just turn around, my 5K was a fluke, how am I going to run another half when I feel like this after 5 minutes…clearly I was being stupid.

Sometimes, I don’t think. Sometimes, I let myself down. Sometimes, I set myself up for failure. But, more often, I overreact. This all or nothing mentality that I possess is not doing anything for me – I need to let it go. Just because I can’t do everything the way I plan it out in my head, doesn’t mean I need to give up. I know that life has room for detours, but it’s easier said than done.

I dusted myself off a bit and decided to alternate running hard (8:20 – 8:50/mi pace) for 0.25 miles with walk/jogging 0.25 miles (~11:30/mi pace) to recover. This made speedwork manageable and it was a good workout. I can do anything for ~2 minutes. So, maybe this wasn’t what I set out to do, but it was just fine.

As I slowed my pace to recover and my breathing returned to normal, I thought about how silly it was for me to get upset about a run. Umm…isn’t running supposed to be fun? Oh, yeah…

Running is personal. It’s individual, even when you’re out there with others. For me, every run is different – my runs take on their own personalities. Some runs are for thinking, some are so I don’t have to think; some are awesome and some are terrible. Sometimes just I zone out – and other times I’m in the zone. But really, all that matters is that I’m out there because I want to be. I’m not going to be a professional runner or break any records, but if I keep it up and follow a training plan, which sometimes means just getting the miles in – however fast or slow they happen to be, I’ll be able to reach whatever goals I set for myself.

I think this applies to a lot more than running.

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3 Responses to Lessons From the Road

  1. Amy says:

    I can really relate to this post. Whenever I don’t run as fast as I think I should, I beat myself up over it and let it make me feel miserable. I doubt myself as a runner and think I’m stupid for thinking I could ever be one. You’re absolutely right — every run is different, they won’t all be fast or perfect.

  2. I absolutely agree with you!! Great reflection!

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