Sunday, November 21, 2010
When I ran my first of 19 runs, I was having a rough day and thought that a good run would help me clear my head and de-stress. Boy was I right. It felt so good, I thought I'd do it again the next day. After my 2nd run, I thought 3 miles is no problem, why not do another 17 days until we leave for Hawaii. I went ahead and ran each day, and by that Friday, I was running 3 miles in 27 minutes. I missed my run on Wednesday, so I ran 6 miles on Thursday. Surprisingly, it wasn't hard. It was boring. But not hard. (I had to run it on my treadmill. I haven't run more than 5 miles on my treadmill in a long time. Longer runs are so much better outside! Part of the reason I didn't do a full 6 today. B O R I N G.)
Here's what I've learned. Running isn't just about getting your butt in gear for a tropical trip that involves bathing suits and shorts. In fact, running has become my other best friend this week. This week has by far been one of the toughest weeks I've had in quite awhile. Running has been my escape. My mental break. My emotional release. Tonight, I thought about something one of my favorite running buddies told me on Friday. I absolutely know that running is mental. To me, "mental" has always meant having a running list of topics to think about while running: wishing my legs looked like Carrie Underwood's, my butt in a suit, the six pack I'll have after 1 more mile, getting in shape for babies, the man who ran from Seattle to Florida in 100 days by running 37 miles a day, the NYC marathon Lisa Kristen just ran, the 10K I ran last summer through Woodinville, what I would say to someone if I were to see them again, etc. He meant something totally different - being so mentally "in control" that you think about nothing other than what your body is doing. I did that tonight. I focused so closely to my breathing that by the time I actually thought about which mile I was on, I was already at 3. That's the first time I was able to do that. And let me tell you, thinking about nothing was just the escape I needed.
Today, I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my body and for what it is capable of doing - both mentally and physically. I am proud of myself for sticking to something.
And I feel good.