BEING MORE AWARE // TURNING POINT
Because, sometimes all you want to do at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday is get out and hit the pavement.
Even though it’s a scheduled rest day, the weather conditions are absolute crap, and you didn’t get to bed until 11 pm on Friday night. For me, that was my turning point. Yesterday. Waking up stressed to the absolute max and wanting to do nothing but run around in circles for as long as physically possible. It wasn’t about burning calories or getting in x amount of miles for the week. Instead, it was about being aware of my stress+anxiety and actively doing something to combat it. Unfortunately, that was not feasible at all due to the weather and the fact that I had extra work to do over the weekend. So, I didn’t really have much of a choice but to push on through the day.
Still, it was that whole “being aware” part that stuck a cord with me and lingered in my mind for the remainder of the day. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a moment of clarity like this one. A moment, where everything felt off/wrong and running seemed like the only solution, the only thing that would set things right. In my mind, physically running around in circles seemed like much more practical approach to combating stress than just sitting in one place with my mind going in circles. Whether this hypothetical run lasted for 1 mile or 7 miles, it really didn’t matter, because at the end things would be totally different. I would either be too exhausted to remember what was stressing me out so much, OR I would have worked out a solution/approach to deal with things better. A win no matter what.
As someone who has often struggled just to get up and get in the gym 4 or 5 times a week, this was a big turning point.
To be sleep+calorie deprived, coming off a 4 day stretch of running+lifting and STILL want to get out there and run all the miles…that’s pretty big deal. However, the turning point didn’t stop there. It carried over into today’s run and lift. I want to and was dead set on running 5 miles this morning. It would not only make me feel better physically+mentally, but would also put me at an even 20 miles for the week. Decent mileage considering I only had gotten in 5 total runs for the week. So, when I was only able to make it 3 slow miles…I wasn’t sure where my head would be at for the rest of the workout. I could have (and maybe should have) been upset/angry/annoyed/EXTRA stressed. But, that wasn’t the case at all.
I instead chose to reflect on how my running had gone overall for the week. I got in 18 miles. I had two longs runs (4 miles and 6 miles). And, this was only my second slow/easy paced run of the week. Even thought this morning’s run didn’t go as planned…I had NOTHING to be upset about. I got just as much mental clarity out of those tough 3 miles as I would have gotten out of 5 perfectly paced miles. I chose to look on the bright size, and use this shorter run as motivation to train my legs even harder during my 90 minute leg day lifting session. And, it worked. I busted my butt, didn’t make excuses for myself, and lifted the heaviest weight I have so far in 2019. I had zero pain and zero self doubt the entire time. It was just me and the weights, getting through things 1 rep and 1 set at a time.
Now, all I can think about is how much I want to get back out there and do it all over again tomorrow.
And, obviously, just how great that first outdoor run is going to feel. It might now happen as soon as I’d like it to, but I know it’s just around the corner. I know it’s going to be the best run of 2019, because I’ll be armed with some of the most motivational and inspiring music, and a whole new appreciation for running and being able to do it outside of the gym (and the dreaded treadmill).