At the end of my 10 mile run today, I thought about how I don’t need inspiration to run anymore. Running inspires me. Maybe it’s still a little of both. I used to need lots of gimmicks to get out on a run. I don’t need them as much anymore but they are still helpful on certain days. I used to talk myself through an entire run step by step, even the part about getting dressed. When that voice in my head started talking about why I shouldn’t go, I would argue back. I would respond by saying, “Just put on your workout clothes and your shoes.” After walking around the house I’d say, “Well, you might as well walk outside. It’s so nice out anyway.” Ounce I was outside walking I’d say, “Just run to that tree and then you can walk for awhile.” After I’d mastered the motivation to get out and run then I worked on mileage. Everyone is different. Some people are very motivate by their pace. I couldn’t care less. I even have a watch with a button I can hit to track my “splits” (time for each mile of the run) but I never remember. I barely ever remember my total time. I’m off by 10 minutes give or take. Usually I remember to stop my watch in the shower. If I want to increase my speed, I just run with my husband.
Running is 98.6% mental. I spend most of my run wrestling with my thoughts. At first, it can be aggravating, annoying and even alarming. Who wants to be alone with their thoughts!? With practice it becomes inspirational. You become your own coach and number one fan. I concentrate on my breathing. Am I in control of my breathing? If I get winded, how do I get my breath back? What do I do when I get a cramp? I listening to my breathing and I know the sounds of my slow jog verses 3/4 effort run verses hard sprint. Out of control breathing is scary but in control breathing, during a hard sprint, is empowering and freeing. Watching your breathing takes concentration and also makes the time and miles fly by. I coach myself through a run. I analyze my form and adjust it for improvement. I remind myself to keep my shoulder relaxed, my hands near my pockets and head up. I’ve learned that I need at least 20 minutes to warm up. I’m not afraid to walk at any point during a run and I’m not afraid to eat (before, during, after or the week of a long run)!
Some people listen to music when they run. Whatever works for you – do it! I’d rather concentrate on my thoughts. Is there any mental clutter that can be cleared out? Am I relaxed or is something bothering me? Am I giving myself positive feedback or unnecessary negative treatment? Is it hard to breathe because I’m sad? I remember one particularly difficult run when I kept stopping to cry! My husband was running with me and he kindly stopped and walked during each crying spurt. I also remember our first 10 mile run. We both wanted to cry at the end! You can learn alot about yourself on a run. I also enjoy pondering deep issues on long runs. I think about life, love, God. I notice the wind in the trees and go through my gratitude list. I’m looking forward to running a 1/2 marathon in December. Fall into early winter is a popular time for road races and marathons. Happy running!
What motivates you? Do you like to run or something else? Swimming, sewing, gardening maybe?
My first blog was about training for a 1/2 Ironman. You can see my photos at: http://ironlawyer.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/race-day-photos/.
Since then, I had a baby and took off almost a full year of competing in any triathlon or road race. I still cheered for my husband during his races. This summer my toddler turned 18 months and I finally competed in my first post-baby race – a sprint triathlon. My next goal is to run a 1/2 marathon in December.