DON'T OVERTHINK IT // 6 FRIGID MILES
Overthinking can make any task, even the very familiar and very enjoyable task of running, extremely challenging.
This morning, there were just so many other things to focus besides the actual act of putting one foot in front of the other and running in the moment. There was the weather, my high waisted tights not staying high enough to hold my loose skin in place, how sore my legs were, how badly the cold weather was hurting my leg, how far I had ran/how much farther I had yet to run, and just how relatable certain song lyrics were to stuff going on in my personal life. I was focused on anything and everything this morning, except for the one actual thing I needed to be focused on: running. No matter how many times I tried to redirect my attention to the task at hand, my mind just kept drifting off to more “important matters.”
It wasn’t until I had ran 2 or 3 miles that I realized just how much this overthinking was effecting my running. I wasn’t pushing myself or putting my normal effort into being super positive/upbeat about my current running pace. I was essentially just going through the motions, checking my Garmin watch WAY too often and getting flustered by just how far away I was from my target distance: 6 miles. There were no moments of gratitude about just being able to physically run pain free or be able to run outside without any snow or ice to battle. Just a whole lot of background noise and stressing about non running related things.
Of course, one good thing about running, is it’s never really “too late” to go the extra mile and up your effort level.
And, that’ exactly what I did during the final 2ish miles of my 6 mile run. I did my best to ignore just how painfully cold and tight my legs were. I faked a smile when all I wanted to do was bawl my eyes out because running is hard, life is complicated, and nothing makes sense right now. Because, for me at least, running is the one thing in my life that has always made sense. And, helped me make sense of all the nonsensical things/situations I have encountered in life. Running is my happy place, my therapy, and one of the few things in life that I know I could not live without.
Not surprisingly, those last few miles, were the two fastest miles since my mile one time of 9:32. Each block I ran during those miles took a lot of effort and willpower, far more than they should have. But, never once did I even remotely consider stopping. Or,, slowing down because I was just a little bit tired/sore and a whole lot emotional. Afterwards, I wasn’t even upset or bothered by the fact that this week’s 6 mile time was 50 seconds slower than last week’s. At the end of the day, I got the miles in without any pain or falls, and that’s really all that matters in the long run.